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24 May. 2019 | Comments (0)

This column was initially published by CNBC. Continue reading here

American retailers are working hard to leverage this Memorial Day weekend to boost sales. Heavyweights like AmazonTarget, Macy’s, and Home Depot all have big promotional plans to accomplish this.

But after all the holiday specials fade, U.S. consumers could be in for a surprise: higher prices. 

On May 10th, the White House announced that it was raising the tariff rates on a range of Chinese imports from 10% to 25%. The policy exempted those cargo ships already on their way to the U.S., but the higher rates would apply to any goods that departed following the announcement.

The freighters that set sail after the 10th are nearing America’s shores, with many set to arrive next week. According to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, nearly 6,000 categories of Chinese goods that come into the U.S. will now face higher duties. Worth about $200 billion in total, they encompass a diverse group of items ranging from televisions to handbags, high tech to high fashion.

Retailers like Walmart and Macy’s already have warned that these tariffs – and others that may come later this year – may result in higher prices for their customers. The degree to which this occurs, however, will depend on how well they are able to respond.

  • About the Author:Steve Odland

    Steve Odland

    Mr. Odland is the President & CEO of The Conference Board, Inc., the most widely cited private source of business intelligence. He brings to The Conference Board an extensive corporate backgr…

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  • About the Author:Erik Lundh

    Erik Lundh

    Erik Lundh is a senior economist at The Conference Board. Based in New York, he is responsible for much of our work on the implications of China’s global economic integration and works closely w…

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