How the Does the Trade War with China Impact Your Business?

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Even more big changes are afoot for American businesses – specifically apparel companies. If your company uses textiles and threads that are sourced overseas (specifically from China), your imported purchases may soon come with a 10% tariff. That’s potentially a 10% cut into your margins, 10% shaved off your revenue, 10% of your income that you can no longer put back into growing your business.

Do you have an opinion about how that would impact your livelihood? The Trump administration is taking public comments and they need to hear from the American businesses these tariffs directly impact. Click here to do so! (Go to and search for Docket # "USTR-2018-0026" ** please note that the USTR prefers comments to be submitted as attachments - for the most impact, write your comments in a separate document and attach as a PDF!) 

For more on the nitty-gritty, here’s a word from the chairman of the NFA Board, Bob Antoshak:

This week, the Trump administration announced a list of $200 billion in Chinese products that will be subject to a potential 10% retaliation tariff, a response by the United States to China’s retaliation to the U.S. tariffs on some $50 billion worth of products just imposed by the U.S.

Although this may sound a little technical, imports are classified according to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HS) and are grouped in broader chapters covering like products. For example, all cotton textile products are recorded in HS Chapter 52.

NFA members should know that the latest round of retaliatory tariffs does cover some key products of importance to our local industry including the following:

  • Rubber gloves and rubber clothing in HS Chapter 40
  • Leather products, including apparel, gloves, handbags, flatgoods and travel goods in HS Chapter 42
  • Fur apparel and products in HS Chapter 43
  • Rattan bags and products in HS Chapter 46
  • Paper products in HS Chapter 46 (this includes hangtags and labels)
  • Textile products in HS Chapter 50 through 60 (all yarns and fabrics)
  • Headwear in HS Chapter 65
  • Tableware and articles of precious metals in HS Chapter 71 (heads up to our jewelers!)
  • TVs and monitors and machinery in HS Chapter 85 (Need equipment for your workspace?)
  • Furniture in HS Chapter 94 (How about expanding your warehouse storage?)
  • Plastic hangers 

Although there will be time for public comment on the proposed Trump administration action, and it is possible that some products will ultimately be excluded from the retaliation list, NFA members should understand that these tariffs, if enacted, will possibly result in higher prices paid for any imported products mentioned above. To review the full list of products covered, along with procedure for filing public comments, please click here

Further reading:
Press Briefing from the USTR