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US consumers are economic 'bright spot,' but vulnerable to China tariffs: Retail expert

Nick Giampia

Retail Industry Leaders Association COO Brian Dodge on Wednesday said he is concerned that U.S. consumers will be pinched by the Trump administration’s recent China tariffs.

“This trade war seems to have no end and the impacts are reaching the American consumer,” he told FOX Business’ Liz Claman on “The Claman Countdown.”

Last weekend, the Trump administration put a 15 percent tariff on about $112 billion of Chinese goods. In response, China announced that it will sue the United States and officially filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization.

“You have investors [who] are jittery, you have manufacturers [who] are pulling back and you have farmers who are hurting and the consumer is the only bright spot in the economy,” he said. “So as you add increased costs to the products that they buy every day, you’re going to have an impact on their expenses and their confidence.”

Though Dodge applauds retailers for managing their way through most of the tariffs, he feels the latest ones will greatly impact consumers.

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“The increased costs are unavoidable, these are consumer products that are often low margin that are coming in here without an alternative sourcing opportunity for them. So they have to come from China at least for the foreseeable future and as a result they’re going to cost 15 percent more and perhaps higher as this process escalates,” he said.

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