President Trump trade war with China could have the unintended consequence of hurting Trump’s base — all the way down to their shoes.
“Some types of shoes are almost 100% from China, and those types of shoes are, unfortunately, ones worn by working families — the shoes that are sold at Walmart (WMT) and Target (TGT) and elsewhere. That’s where working families will really be hit the hardest … The Trump voters in some of these communities are going to have the biggest impact on their wallets,” Matt Priest, president and CEO of Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA) told Yahoo Finance.
An estimated 72% of footwear and 84% of travel goods are produced in China, and footwear is one of the highest duty products in the marketplace today, according to FDRA. “The average import duty on all consumer goods is about one and a half percent, and our average duty is 12%, and it goes all the way up to almost 70 percent depending on the type of shoe.”
Duties on sneakers range from around 17% to 20%. Work boots and construction wear, Priest notes, are also primarily manufactured in China.
According to Priest, a shoe currently imported to the U.S. with an input price of $25, usually gets markup of three to four times that as the shoe makes its way through the supply chain, from the border, where it gets hit with a duty of about 20% ($5), to the retail store to the consumer’s closet. That would make it a $75 or $100 shoe. So if Trump follows through with a new round of tariffs on $300 billion worth Chinese goods, that same $25 shoe coming into the country would be hit with a 45% tax, more than double the amount of duty.
Priest said that higher cost will likely fall on the consumer. “You see how the duty price is baked into the product as it gets marked up throughout the supply chain. And that means that, you know, that initial duty payment ... impacts the consumer more dramatically.” Priest said.
New retaliatory Chinese tariffs on over 5,000 products made in the U.S. will take effect on June 1.
Reggie Wade is a writer for Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter at @ReggieWade.
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