China Trade War: New Trump Tariffs Could Raise Prices on These Common Products

Donald Trump’s long-simmering trade war has reached a boiling point. On September 17, the administration finalized tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese-made products. The first round of 10% tariffs will take effect September 24. On January 1, 2019, the tariffs will increase to 25%. China responded by slapping tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. products.

Thousands of goods produced in China are subject to the new tariff. Though some popular items – like smartphones and T-shirts – have been exempted, experts say that it’s basically inevitable that American shoppers will eventually notice rising prices at the store.

The final tariff list includes more than 5,700 different products. Here are some of the items that could soon cost you more.


Serviceman installing assembling or adjusting bicycle gear
Person working on a bicycle |

Bike-related imports from China will be subject to the 10% tariff starting next week, even though many in the bike industry voiced their objections to the move, which they say could cost it as much as $250 million in 2019, according to the Verge. Many U.S. bike manufacturers use Chinese components to make their bikes; prices will likely rise because of the tariffs.


Get ready to pay more for your chicken of the sea. Many types of fish and seafood, including salmon, trout, tuna, and tilapia are on the tariff list. Ironically, critics say that tariffs on seafood could end up hurting the U.S. fishing industry, since much of the fish on the list is caught in the U.S. and then sent to China for processing, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Makeup and beauty products

Shampoo, makeup, perfume, after-shave, and other personal care products are on the tariff list. You can check the packaging on your favorite products to see whether they’re made in China and thus might be subject to the tariff.

Home furnishings

Carpets, mattresses, chandeliers, lamps, and some types of furniture are on the Trump tariff list. Consumers could end up paying between $2.1 and $4.6 billion more for furniture alone becaues of the tariffs, the National Retail Federation estimated in an August 2018 report.


Delta Enterprise, which makes wooden baby furniture like cribs, said it might have to increase the price of a $200 crib to $300 in response to the tariffs. However, other baby items, like high chairs and booster seats, aren’t on the tariff list, noted CBS. Nor are playpens and car seats.

Christmas lights

Christmas Lights
Christmas lights on a house|  Matt Cardy/Getty Images

If you deck out your house every year with twinkle lights for the holidays, it could cost you more this year. “Lightings sets of a kind used for Christmas trees” are included on the tariff list. Eighty-five percent of Christmas lights were imported from China in 2017, according to CNN. Wrapping paper is also on the list.

Dog leashes

Dog leashes and collars are set to be subject to the new tariff. CNN reports that 80% of the $220 million in dog leashes sold in the U.S every year come from China.

Sport equipment  

Baseball gloves, batting gloves, ice hockey gloves, and ski gloves are all on the tariff list. Golf bags are on the list too, as are other types of sports bags. Skiers could also end up paying more for hats, warns Powder magazine.


Handbags of many types, including those made of leather and plastic, will also be subject to the new tariffs. More than half of plastic and inexpensive leather handbags are made in China, according to the Wall Street Journal.

This is just a fraction of the products that will be affected by tariffs. Raincoats, insulated food and beverage bags, children’s paint sets, paper diaries and notebooks, and many types of fabric are also in the crosshairs. In addition to fish, fruits, nuts, and vegetables will also be subject to the tariffs. You can see the full tariff list here.

Predicting the tariff fallout

Trump thinks that the tariffs could give U.S. manufacturing a boost. But retailers and manufacturers are worried. Switching suppliers isn’t easy when you’re dealing with a global supply chain, noted the Wall Street Journal, and it could take years for companies to adjust.

Many retailers already have their products for fall and holiday shopping season, so consumers likely won’t see an immediate shift in prices at the store due to the tariffs. The biggest effect will probably be felt in the spring. Moody’s predicts the tariffs could reduce the economy’s growth rate by 0.25% in 2019. It estimates the economy will grow 2.3% next year, down from 4.2% in the second quarter of 2018.

Still, administration officials think the tariffs will be just a blip on Americans’ budgets. “Nobody is going to actually notice it at the end of the day,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC. Others aren’t so sure.

“Every time this trade war escalates, the risk to U.S. consumers grows,” Matthew Shay, the president and CEO of the National Retail Federation said in a statement. “With these latest tariffs, many hardworking Americans will soon wonder why their shopping bills are higher and their budgets feel stretched.”

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