- The price of baby strollers and other infant goods could surge 20 per cent if President Donald Trump slaps another round of tariffs covering the rest of Chinese imports.
- That could threaten the safe upbringing of babies and young children in the United States by parents looking to save money.
- Business leaders in the field of baby products have warned that parents might use older, broken or unsafe products rather than spend more.
- Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories.
The price of baby strollers and other infant goods could surge 20 per cent if President Donald Trump slaps another round of tariffs covering the rest of Chinese imports. That could threaten the safe upbringing of babies and young children in the United States by parents looking to save money, according to a number of business leaders in the field of baby products.
Joseph Shamie, the president of children’s furniture company Delta Children, tells INSIDER that an abrupt price increase for consumers on a wide range of baby products including strollers, car seats, booster chairs, and cribs could lead parents to use older products that are less safe for children.
“You’re going to have increased costs to have a baby and raise a family,” Shamie said. “Our fear is that people are going to use hand-me-down products – older products that don’t meet the current standards or have been worn down over the years.”
Shamie told INSIDER that young parents, many of whom already have tight budgets, will be compelled to cut corners to save money. Instead of buying a crib, parents may share beds with their children or use older car seats.
“We’re constantly improving [on safety standards] and this is a huge setback. They should be excluding children’s products and safety products. It’s a crime,” Shamie said.
According to the US Department of Agriculture, the cost of raising a child through age 17 that’s born in 2015 to a middle-income, married couple is around $US233,610.
In May, Trump levied a 25% tariff on $US200 billion worth of imports from China, accusing Chinese negotiators of backtracking from commitments made in the ongoing talks. Beijing argued that last-minute changes in such wide-ranging discussions are normal,Politico reported.
Hundreds of business executives travelled to Capitol Hill last week to oppose the proposed tariffs. Trump has threatened to impose them if negotiations fail to make progress between the world’s two largest economies during the two-day G20 summit in Osaka, Japan.
Bradley Matarocci, vice president of the baby product company Baby Trend, warned on June 17 in testimony to the Office of the US Trade Representative that consumers would bear the brunt of an abrupt increase in the taxes on those goods.
“This increased cost will have to be passed onto consumers, due to traditionally low-profit margins and their price sensitivity, making these lifesaving products unaffordable to much of the country’s population,” he said. Matarocci noted that one in five baby product consumers have annual household incomes less than $US25,000.
He went on: “We are confident that implementing the proposed tariffs on critical, and in some cases legally required safety products, will endanger the health and safety of our children.”
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.