Black Friday deals could become the next casualty in the Trump administration’s ongoing trade war with China. CNN Business reports that if Trump’s tariffs remain in place, deep discounts on multiple products will be hard to find around this time next year.
Popular gift items like handbags, perfumes, wallets, and close to 6,000 other products from China are subject to a 10 percent tariff. Trump has said that he plans to increase the tariff to 25 percent in 2019. This year’s Black Friday deals haven’t been affected because the stock in retail stores was already priced before the tariffs went into effect. But the future of the American shopping tradition is in danger if this trade war continues and/or intensifies.
“Shoppers may be pardoned this Thanksgiving season, but they’ll be paying more come spring,” said American Apparel and Footwear Association president Rick Helfenbein.
All may not be lost for discount loving shoppers.
CNN notes that President Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping are scheduled to meet and discuss trade at the G20 Summit in Argentina next week.
But there are troubling signs that negotiations aren’t going to be easy. Another CNN article notes that Chinese diplomats abandoned plans to discuss the trade war in Washington ahead of G20 after Trump and Xi exchanged tense words that weekend. China’s Vice Premier Liu He was supposed to be part of the delegation that was scheduled to come to Washington.
Now the future of trade between two major global economic powers depends on a meeting on the sidelines of an important yearly summit.
“The level of uncertainty is unprecedented,” Craig Allen, president of the US-China Business Council said in an interview with CNN. “The probability of coming to, if you will, a clean, comprehensive agreement has declined considerably.”
— The Hill (@thehill) November 21, 2018
Others echoed the sentiment that the upcoming meeting between Trump and Xi is critical.
“The stakes are pretty high,” said Myron Brilliant, executive vice president and head of international affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “There’s still a big gap between the two sides. Now we’ll see how much their personal relationship will come into play because the market wants another signal about where this relationship is going.”
As Sky News notes, President Trump’s trade dispute with China started rumbling in April 2017 when he announced an “investigation” into imports of Chinese steel and questioned whether these imports were a “threat” to U.S. national security.
The G20 Summit is set to begin in Buenos Aires next week from November 30, 2018, to December 1, 2018.