Cashmere sweaters could soon be more expensive.
To see why, during May, the NY Times took a look at a company that makes and sells them. Now, with a new round of tariffs planned for September, the numbers could change. But still, illustrating where taxes on imports elevate prices, the graphic shows why the price of a sweater could soar by a whopping 24%:
Also thinking about sweaters (and other clothing) JC Penney adds that the newest round of tariffs affects women more than men. The following paragraph was in a 20-page letter that JC Penney sent to the U.S. trade representative in which they objected to the newest tariffs. They emphasize that among 19 of the tariffed apparel items that they sell, 13 are for women and girls:
The Gender Impact of Trump Administration Tariffs
Next, we can use some statistics to tell the same gender story.
The key here is that the U.S. imports more clothing for women and girls from China than for men and boys so of course import taxes will hit them harder. In 2018, 42% of our clothing and shoe imports from China were for women and girls but for men and boys, just 26%. In addition, at 14.9% for women and 12% for men (2015), the tariff levels were higher too.
You can see that female apparel and shoes from China far exceed what the men and boys get from them:
The typical household spends $665 on women’s and girl’s apparel each year and $427 for men’s and boys. Since the newest round of tariffs has a retail tilt not evident previously, it makes sense that women would bear more of the burden. Furthermore, with tariffs, the gap can only get bigger.
Out Bottom Line: The Four Tariffs
As our final step, let’s place the newest tariff round in context.
Through a sequence of four graphics from the Wall Street Journal, we can see how the dollar value of tariffed goods increased. The percents indicate the cumulative proportion of the dollar value of Chinese imports covered by tariffs. We have two rounds from 2018, one from 2019, and the new one from 2019 that is a bit iffy because the Trump administration just announced that some might be delayed:
- 25% tariffs
- Primarily machinery, electrical equipment, plastics
- 10% tariffs
- Includes furniture, machinery, vehicles, iron
- 10% tariffs increased to 25%
- Again includes furniture, machinery, vehicles, iron
- September (projected)
- 10% tariffs.
- Most remaining items
So, where are we? With the numbers in the fourth graphic close to or equal to 100%, they indicate that tariffs will soon impact almost all of the goods that we import from China..
My sources and more: Thanks to the WSJ podcast, What’s News, for alerting me to the new tariffs’ gender bias. Next, it made sense to read the related WSJ article for more detail and this WSJ summary of President Trump’s tariff history. From there, this JC Penney letter and this NY Times article on Everlane brought life to the numbers.
Our featured image is from Pixabay.