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Tariff Updates

January 27, 2020

On Jan 15, US and China finally signed the long-awaited phase one trade deal at the White House, easing 18-month trade tensions between the world’s two biggest economies. Most significantly, the phase one deal will cut US tariffs and boost China’s purchases of US products incl manufactured goods, farm products, energy and services however store fixture and display-related tariffs will not change at this time.   Major categories in retail supply that continue to be affected include all metal, wire and wood products at 25%, mannequins, forms and acrylics at 15%.   While no one can be certain, we expect these tariffs to be in effect through the remainder of 2020.

Econoco is actively researching alternative low-cost countries to manufacture its goods.   Vietnam is not currently set up to produced finished metal products and their infrastructure is unreliable in terms of lack of  major highways and electricity interruptions.   The standard of living in Taiwan and major port cities in India account for higher labor rates and the cost of raw materials makes these two markets higher priced than China with the tariffs.   Myanmar, Cambodia may be considered in the future but are decades behind China in their ability to manufacture high quality hard goods for the retail fixture and display industry.   Econoco, as in the past, will continue to do its due diligence and remain a leader in global sourcing.