All the Things That May Get More Expensive Because of Donald Trump’s Trade War With China
President Donald Trump’s plan to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imports may spark global trade wars with the United States — but wars Trump thinks American can win. However, the tariffs — 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum — have rattled U.S. allies, spooked markets, and widened a rift with many Congressional Republicans.
How will these tariffs affect prices of goods in America? Some manufacturing advocates say the impact will be minimal because they would bolster aluminum and steel production in the U.S. However, others are concerned the changes would disrupt “sensitive and complicated supply chains” for commonly-sold products, NPR reported. Many U.S. allies, including Mexico, Canada, and the EU will be exempt from the tariffs.
Here we’ll list some products you may buy regularly that could get more expensive because of the tariffs. We’ll also share feedback voiced by industries that manufacture the products.
The price of soda in cans will go up under Trump’s tariff on aluminum and steel, according to a spokesperson for can makers. “A tariff on these aluminum and steel products will harm our industry and put food and beverage cans at a disadvantage among competitive packages, such as plastic and glass, which are not subject to tariffs,” Can Manufacturers Institute president Robert Budway told MarketWatch.
Budway also warned the tariffs could cause closures of U.S. can manufacturing plants, affecting some 10,000 workers.
Next: The cost of your sweet fix
Getting your next chocolate fix could put a bigger dent in your wallet. Hershey uses steel for its production plants and aluminum for wrapping its Kisses and miniature Reese’s peanut-butter cups.
“Such a broad and sweeping order could have a negative impact on the entire U.S. economy, potentially costing U.S. jobs and ultimately, hurting American consumers through higher prices for everyday products,” Hershey spokesman Jeff Beckman said.
Next: Stock your fridge now.
A letter to Trump dated Feb. 1, 2018 from beer and soda manufacturers estimated the 10% aluminum tariff would cost beer and beverage producers $256.3 million. This cost would likely mean higher beer prices for consumers, some groups said.
MillerCoors, the second largest U.S. brewing company, spoke out against the tariffs. The brewery, which produces Coors Light, Miller Lite, and Blue Moon, uses aluminum for its cans. The company tweeted the tariffs were misguided and could lead to job losses in the beer industry.
Next: A popular lunchtime staple
4. Canned soup
A can of soup makes for an easy and inexpensive meal, but the price of this popular lunchtime go-to would likely rise as well. Tariffs would lift aluminum can prices 6.7% in 2018, versus an expected 2.3% hike that didn’t include tariffs, according to John Mothersole from HIS Markit. “How much of this increase would be passed along to final consumers is difficult to say,” Mothersole said.
Next: A major purchase could get pricier
The price of cars and trucks could go up “substantially” due to the tariffs, according to the American International Automobile Dealers Association. The amount a vehicle’s price may go up would vary, however, depending on the proportion of domestic versus imported metal used by a given car manufacturer. General Motors and Toyota both said they expect a more modest impact since the majority of their steel purchases come from U.S. suppliers.
Next: Major household items
Because they’re made of metal, appliance prices could be affected too. Households may want to make any big appliance purchases sooner rather than later, according to Consumer Reports, adding that the impact might not be felt until 2019 or 2020.
In addition to the aluminum and steel tariffs, Donald Trump has already hit imported washing machines with a steep tariff –20% in 2018, and 50% thereafter. That change alone is likely to push the price of washing machines up by 8% to 20% in 2018, per Consumer Reports.
Next: An industry already suffering
Not only will the tariffs hit Wisconsin through the beer industry, but they could also negatively affect Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson. The company has seen declining sales in recent quarters, especially in domestic sales. “We support free and fair trade,” Harley spokesman Michael Pflughoeft said. “Import tariffs on steel and aluminum will drive up costs for all products made with these raw materials, regardless of their origin.”
The increase in manufacturing costs would have “a significant impact” on sales, dealers, suppliers, and customers, Pflughoeft said.
Next: A progressive industry
8. Solar projects
Solar projects, wind turbines, and energy storage units could get more expensive under the tariffs., Greentech Media reported. “I’ve been told that at a 25% tariff rate, it could add as much as 2 cents a watt to the cost of a utility-scale project,” said Dan Whitten from the Solar Energy Industries Association. “That is a significant added cost, especially on top of the job-killing solar tariffs.”
The Trump administration also imposed a 30% tariff on imported solar panels earlier in 2018.