How to Lessen the
Impact of the
David Daffner, Vice President
UPDATE: It seems the most consistent element of this complicated import trade war is uncertainty. On June 30, 2019, CBS News reported that existing U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports would remain in place, but additional tariffs that had been threatened would not go forward for the “time being.” What remains true is that you need stability in your supply chain to mitigate the risk that comes with uncertainty.
If you’re worried about the outcome of the trade deal between the United States and China, you’re not alone. Although much remains unsettled, some industries, such as the technology sector, fear the impact could be significant. To recap, last fall, the U.S. government proposed a 10-percent tariff on a long list of products imported from China. It was anticipated the tariff would be increased to 25 percent as of March 1, 2019, but that decision was postponed as talks and negotiations continue. It’s unknown how the two sides will come to terms over the threat of tariffs and how the agreement will be enforced.
What we do know is that the promotional products industry, which imports a significant volume of items from China, has been nervously watching this situation unfold. The imported products list includes manufacturing items that may impact the way promotional products suppliers do business. That, in turn, could impact distributors.
In fact, you may already be dealing with some negative repercussions such as rising costs, longer schedules and product availability. The delayed tariff decision might give companies time to increase overseas orders but this is only a temporary reprieve. For consistency in your promotional marketing supply chain, you need to ensure you have the right partner who can help you proactively plan for whatever the future holds.
Tips to strengthen your supply chain
- Identify vendors who have access to a wide range of promotional products, including options that are domestically manufactured
- Seek vendors who have strong merchandising experience and creative ideation skills to identify good/better/best alternatives for products impacted by tariffs
- Partner with vendors who have the size and clout to work directly with suppliers to understand and mitigate cost increases