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The Washington Post reports that as the Trump administration imposes new tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese products - they took effect at 12:01 am today, even as negotiations seems to take place inn fits and starts - retailers that depend on the sale of items imported from China for the all-important end-of-year holiday selling season are saying they’re worried.

And since now is the time that they are locking in orders for merchandise they’d like to sell during the Christmas season, these same retailers are worried about what those products will cost, what they’ll be able to charge for them, and whether they need toi cut back on their orders.

“While Trump’s threat of escalating tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports has largely been dismissed by analysts as a negotiating tactic,” the Post writes, “retailers say the repeated uncertainty over price increases can be debilitating, particularly as they lock down orders for the crucial holiday season.” Now that the tariffs have gone beyond the threat stage, those concerns are likely only to grow.

The story goes on: “The first round of Trump’s tariffs, which levied a 10 percent tax on nearly 6,000 types of imported products, went into effect in September. Those tariffs were supposed to rise to 25 percent in January, but Trump has twice pushed forward that date amid trade negotiations with China. The result, retailers say, has been constant uncertainty over if — and when — the cost of goods will suddenly rise.

Retailers said that concern took on a new level of urgency ... when Trump said in a pair of tweets that he would raise tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports from 10 percent to 25 percent beginning Friday.”
KC's View:
One of the things that the Post made me think about, in a way that I hadn’t before, is how this actually is about more than products. If a store brings in 25 percent less merchandise, say, than it did in past years because of tariff concerns, that also could mean that it will hire fewer people to work the store during the holidays … which then has a domino effect on the economy.

There are a lot of wild cards in this deck, and a lot of gambling going on with people’s lives and businesses … not to mention the threat of even more and higher tariffs from the Trump administration.