From Sushi to Ski Gloves, U.S. Needs China More Than You Think
A chef with Moshimo Japanese restaurant delivery-only kitchen, prepares a sushi platter at a Deliveroo Editions field kitchen, operated by Roofoods Ltd., in Hove, U.K. (Photographer: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg)

From Sushi to Ski Gloves, U.S. Needs China More Than You Think


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As the clock ticked one minute past midnight into Friday, many of the items in American homes got costlier -- again.

The U.S. boosted tariffs Friday on $200 billion of Chinese imports to 25% from 10%, as the tit-for-tat trade war raged on, including everyday consumer items in U.S. garages to refrigerators. For some of these, over nine out of every 10 purchased by American shoppers are Chinese-made.

The list of consumer items that China has a near stranglehold on includes dog leashes, of which eight of every 10 bought by American shoppers are from China. (Donald Trump is the first U.S. president in about 120 years not to own a dog in the White House.) Bicycles and vacuum cleaners will get costlier too.

From Sushi to Ski Gloves, U.S. Needs China More Than You Think

Studies have shown that tariffs are being borne more by Americans than the Chinese and that looks set to continue, especially if you’re a sushi lover -- frozen tilapia fillets and the umami-rich condiment soy sauce are on the list -- or an avid skier. Not just your gloves, but the suitcase you pack for the Whistler trip is on the list too.

Even as global markets are roiled by Trump’s Twitter tariff tactics and American consumers prepare to pay more, Chinese manufacturers and exporters seem to have become battle hardy.

“People are feeling numb as the trade talks keep changing tone,” said Ben Chu, an entrepreneur who conducts negotiation lessons for Chinese businesses. “Manufacturers have either shifted their focus to orders from other countries, or have negotiated a fair price with the U.S. clients to defy the upcoming tariff.”

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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