Americans should brace for cost hikes to toys, clothing, car seats, phones, and more, trade group says

  • Americans should expect to pay more for phones, toys, party supplies, car seats, and more, according to the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), a retail trade group.
  • Retailers are expected to raise prices on those items if the US imposes higher tariffs on $US300 billion of Chinese imports.
  • The goods that would be impacted the most – and therefore have the highest potential for cost increases – are those with the highest share of sourcing from China, RILA said in a letter to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

Representatives from more than 300 companies are descending on Washington, DC, this week to testify on a proposed tariff hike on $US300 billion of Chinese imports.

The new tariffs would hit many goods that haven’t yet been targeted in President Donald Trump’s trade war with China, including apparel, footwear, and toys.

Many retailers have warned that they would raise prices on certain goods to offset cost increases if the proposed tariff hike is enacted.

The goods that would be impacted the most – and therefore have the highest potential for cost increases – are those with the highest share of sourcing from China.

The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), a trade group representing more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers and suppliers, recently outlined some of the most vulnerable product categories where China dominates as the country of origin.

“The risk of rising prices means lower sales, which could result in layoffs and store closures,” RILA wrote in a letter dated Monday that was addressed to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. “The ripple effect of these tariffs will be felt in every sector of the American economy.”

Here are the products that the letter highlighted:

  • Apparel (Out of all US imports, China supplies more than 85% of women’s cotton sweaters, 77% of girls’ cotton sweaters, 69% of men’s cotton sweaters, and 45% of all baby garments and clothing accessories.)
  • Footwear (China supplies 52% of all leather footwear imports)
  • Toys (85% of all toys sold in the US are imported from China, according to The Toy Association)
  • Consumer electronics, including mobile phones, laptops, tablets, and televisions
  • Bedding, quilts, blankets, sheets, baby blankets, comforters, throws
  • Car seats and booster seats
  • Party supplies and favours, Easter eggs, Halloween costumes, and Easter baskets
  • Christmas ornaments and decor
  • Pool floats and air mattresses
  • Food storage, tumblers, portable beverages, and water bottles
  • Curtain panels, window sheers, and drapes
  • Artificial flowers, wreaths, Christmas trees, and garlands
  • Patio umbrellas and patio furniture
  • High efficiency dual flush toilets and other toilets
  • Charcoal grills and smokers
  • Stainless steel patio heaters
  • Lighting
  • Ceiling fans
  • Power tools, including drills, grinders, saws, sanders, routers, and batteries
  • Bras

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