From washing machines to printer ink, President Trump’s expansive tariffs could affect the daily lives of citizens, including the students and faculty of APSU and the Clarksville community as a whole.
Trump has been waging multiple trade wars with both America’s adversaries and some of the country’s oldest allies.
One such trade war is occurring with Canada. Only recently did the tariffs on Canadian newsprint get overturned.
APSU’s own newspaper was directly impacted by this previous tariff which greatly increased the cost of the colored printer ink which The All State requires.
All of the tariffs which are occurring right now or could be soon will have an impact on this country and this community. Before discussing the various tariffs being levied right now it is important to consider:
What exactly are tariffs?
In literal terms, Webster Dictionary defines them as, “the duties levied on imports.”
In plain terms, a tariff is a tax on goods coming into a country.
The idea behind why countries will implement tariffs is to push up the price of foreign goods to make the domestic option more appealing.
Tariffs can backfire, however.
One such way this is visible is in the steel and aluminum tariffs which, though positively impacting the American steel mills, is severely negatively impacting all of the companies which use steel and aluminum, of which there are far more than those which produce it.
The Tennessean addressed in their article the executives from six Tennessee companies relying on steel who felt that the significant price increases on steel, both domestic and imported were “impairing their ability to compete against foreign companies.”
In their letter to the president they said, “This will not only negatively impact our companies, but also U.S. consumers who will be faced with higher prices.”
This inevitably will be the biggest impact these tariffs could have on average students’ and citizens’ lives.
An increase in production can lead to an increase in cost for the customer, and the number of tariffs just keeps increasing.
Now in addition to previous tariffs, President Trump is threatening Canada with imposing tariffs on automobile imports.
These new tariffs aimed at America’s ally and neighbor to the north were implemented supposedly for the purpose of convincing Canada to accept new terms in a re-negotiated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
However, the reasoning behind this trade war could also be more personal as Trump has often accused Canada of taking advantage of America. In a Fortune article by Glenn Fleishman, Trump was quoted in a statement saying about Canada, “We cannot continue to get ripped off like we’ve been ripped off before.”
Trump expresses a similar sentiment in his trade war with China.
The tariffs aimed towards China as of right now mainly affect the many parts American businesses get imported from China, and the impact of these tariffs could be detrimental to both those businesses and their everyday consumers.
For those many businesses that import pieces from China the cost to the produce their items will increase. They may be forced to use more expensive domestic items, decrease their wages, or pass the cost on to their customers. Inevitably they may be forced to move production outside of America altogether.
These tariffs usually display a negative impact on businesses which will eventually trickle down to their customers, but the new tariffs Trump is threatening against China put American consumers directly at risk.
The new round of tariffs aimed at $200 billion worth of Chinese goods will target nearly every import received from them including numerous consumer products including many electronics.
Apple in its letter to USTR warned that these tariffs would lead to direct price hikes in their consumer products saying that the proposed tariff list “covers a wide range of Apple products.”
The proposed list of tariffs includes everything from seafood to grapefruit to olives to tobacco to bamboo shoots to granite to petroleum oils to printing ink to makeup to film for color photography to herbicides to bidets to articles of clothing to handbags to baseball gloves to articles of reptile leather to just about anything else one could ever use or imagine using.
This new list of possible tariffs doesn’t just cover parts which will lead to an eventual price increase for the customer.
These are consumer products and the impact will be felt immediately by the customer.