The tariffs have been realized; the trade talks have been canceled. The trade war shows no sign of letting up. Brace yourself for higher prices.
Leslie Gallo, VP of operations and sales for Artemis International, is worried. “For all of us, in almost any industry, it is likely just a matter of time.” While the tariffs we have in place are bad enough, she says, her fear is that as this escalates, both sides might just decide to impose tariffs on all goods.
Other companies have simply said that it’s still too early to tell how this will play out.
Dr. Daniel Fabricant, president of the Natural Products Association, says that now that the tariffs have passed, the NPA is hoping to get an exclusion process. The first two lists of tariffs had one, but the third list, which affects the industry the most, does not. And while glucosamine and sucralose were removed from the list, it’s still full of items that are vital to all aspects of the natural products industry.
Fabricant emphasized respect for the White House: given, he said, that China is our biggest trading partner, it’s important for us to let the President negotiate, so we can get that relationship right. The process is integral to the result—something the natural products industry knows better than anyone else—so let it happen, he says.
However, he went on to say, it is about balance. Moving out of China is not an option, and the effects this Trade Act will have on the industry will be monumental.
Send letters to your congressman requesting an exclusion process, and emphasize the ways in which tariffs will affect your business, Fabricant advises.
Should the U.S. Trade Representative implement a product exclusion process, they would take into account whether or not an item is available outside of China, whether or not additional duties would be harmful to the requester or to US interests, and whether or not the item is strategically important to China’s “Made In China 2025” program, according to the U.S.T.R.’s press release for the July tariffs.