News Bureau

May 15, 2019

Tariff Impact on both: Retailers and Consumers!

Earlier, NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay spoke on CNBC’s Squawk Box to discuss how rising tariffs impact American retailers and consumers and the need for the U.S. and China to get back to the negotiating table. “There’s wide agreement with the president and administration on the overall objectives,” Shay said. “We just have a disagreement on the tactics.”

“Retailers have done everything they can up to now, but when we get to 25 percent on this final fourth tranche, if we go there … It’s going to be difficult for any retailer in the country to avoid passing along price increases to consumers,” Shay said. “There’s just not enough leverage and wiggle room left to make that happen.” This is a trade dilemma!

Shay added that retailers are considering a “longer-term play about diversifying the supply chain and maybe moving some of the supply capacity in other places. The issue is there’s no new China,” Shay said. “You can’t just go somewhere else and replace China with Vietnam or Cambodia or Thailand or South or Central America. You’re talking about replacing the capacity of a firehose with the capacity of a garden hose.”

Shay also cited a study released by Tariffs Hurt the Heartland and prepared by Trade Partnership that showed the tariffs could jeopardize 2 million American jobs and cost U.S. families an average $2,300 a year.


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