Friday, May 10, 2019

Kenneth Rapoza — Trump’s Base in Panic Over 25% Tariffs on China Goods

“I don’t think people really understand what is at stake,” says Alex Camera, CEO of Audio Control, a privately held, small business manufacturing audio sound equipment near Seattle, Washington. He imports electronic components from China and makes things like power amplifiers for cars. They design it and put it together in Washington. “Trump says China is paying these tariffs, but they are not. I am. U.S. companies are paying it at the port.”
Tariffs are port taxes due at the time of delivery and paid to the U.S. government. At best, companies like Audio Control can renegotiate its contract with its China supplier in order to lower — or in some cases — zero out the impacts of the current 10% port duty. But the hike to 25% is the real game changer. To say the business community, long seen as one of the key voter bases of the Republican Party, are terrified of an escalating trade war would not be an understatement.
“The 10% tariff required us to curtail some of our investments,” Camera says. “The potential of a 25% tariff from tonight would have a major impact on our investment and on our pricing. It frustrates me a little bit about how people see tariffs as an attack on the Chinese economy. Tariffs are an attack on my ability to use my cash to grow my business.”...

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