SAVANNAH, GA. (WSAV) – New trade tensions between China and the U.S. may cost you more at the store, the car lot and it may cost your employer, too.
The United States is threatening to raise tariffs on Chinese imports from 10 percent to 25 percent. Jason O’Rouke from the Georgia Chamber of Commerce says the 10 percent tariffs in the past year have already had an impact because China retaliated which is affecting Americans who want to sell their products overseas.
“Georgia exports of goods that were subject to these tariffs dropped by 37 percent year over year from 2017 to 2018,” said O’Rouke.
He says now there are new worries.
“I think that’s the biggest concern that we were looking at last summer is that the 10 percent becomes 25 percent and then we start into an actual trade war,” said O’Rouke.
He cited job losses due to the lower tariffs.
“The estimate is that Georgia lost about 30,000 jobs because of these tariffs and quotas in 2018 and that’s just from tariffs and quotas themselves,” O’Rourke explained. “But that the impact of the trade war is about 70,000 jobs.
“So we can see how ten percent becoming 25 percent does result in true job losses.”
O’Rouke says higher tariffs affect how businesses plan.
“We have all these good things happening with the economy, we have businesses that want to expand, they want to have more people, they want to raise wages,” he said. “When we start seeing tariffs doubling and almost tripling, it really starts to worry businesses about what they can do and if they have the ability to raise wages.”
O’Rouke says they’re hoping something is worked out between the Trump Administration and China.
Meanwhile, some Republican leaders are weighing in to support the Administration.
South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham said he “completely supports President Trump’s approach in trade negotiations with China. This is the last, best chance for America and the world to get China to play by the rules.”