Several everyday items could be pricer after tariffs go into effect Sept. 1

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Back to school shoppers might have noticed they were paying a little more than last year.

Now, other everyday items could get more expensive once several tariffs on goods coming from China go into effect in two weeks.

Virtually all Chinese imports including electronics were going to be subject to the tariff increase on September 1, but President Trump pushed some of those items like electronics and toys back to December 15 so holiday shoppers wouldn’t be hit impacted.

Hawaii already pays more for everyday items because of shipping costs.

The U.S. Trade Representative website lists hundreds if not thousands of items that are subject to a 10% tariff starting Sept.1, including clothes, food, jewelry, baby items like diapers, and drinks like green tea.

“It’s anywhere between 10 and 25%,” Tina Yamaki, Retail Merchants of Hawaii president said.  “I think when President Trump initially did it, he said China is going to be the one paying for it—but ultimately it’s actually the consumer who’s going end up paying for a lot of this.”

Costco and Walmart already said they will pass the additional costs onto the consumer.

The trade war leaving many businesses uneasy, and everyone should be prepared.

“The trade war is happening not just the U.S and China but the rest of Asia and Europe as well,” said Carl Bonham, Ph.D., Exec. Dir., UH Economic Research Organization.

He says with Hawaii’s unemployment rate slowly rising and minimal job growth, the state’s economy is weak.

“Both of those are signs that even without a U.S. recession, Hawaii’s economy may be on the verge of, if not a recession, then extremely slow growth.”

And to survive in a struggling economy, Yamaki advises business owners to listen to their customers

“If they do Omnichannel where they’re online, on social media, have a brick and motor, we’re seeing those type of stores that are surviving,” she said.

TV’s, cell phones and toys are expected to see a tariff increase on December 15, but prices won’t go up right away. Yamaki said it will be the following shipment that sees the tariff, so if there are any popular electronics on someone’s wish list this holiday season, get it early.

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