Durangoans are feeling a pinch from tariffs President Donald Trump has placed on imports from China, but effects are more severe on some products than others.
Electronics, excluding televisions, are taking a hit, said Don Bendell, co-owner of Louisa’s Electronics, 2201 Main Ave.
“Our industry is used to seeing prices decline, not increase. In 20 years in the industry, this is my first experience of seeing prices go up,” Bendell said.
Heath Garvey, the buyer for Mountain Bike Specialists, 949 Main Ave., said the high-performance bicycle sector has largely been spared price hikes from tariffs imposed on China, but some accessories are more exposed to price increases.
High-performance bicycles sold at Mountain Bike Specialists are largely made in Taiwan, Japan and the United States, Garvey said. An exception is children’s bicycles, which sometimes are manufactured in China.
A good number of accessory cycling products are also made outside of China. Bicycle helmets are made in the United States. High nutrition foods for outdoor activities sold at Mountain Bike Specialists come from Colorado firms, including Bayfield-based Tailwind Nutrition.
Garvey identified cycling shoes, clothing products like Zoic socks and Kryptonite locks as made in China, but largely, the shop is insulated from tariffs on Chinese products.
Ed Zink, owner of Mountain Bike Specialists, said, “We may be insulated from the tariffs, but are they a good idea? No, we think trade wars are counterproductive. They don’t have a significant effect on us, and therefore, they don’t have a significant impact on our customers.”
At Louisa’s Electronics, average prices are up about 10% for personal audio, security surveillance and computer networking equipment, Bendell said.
“If something was $200, it’s $220 now compared to before the tariff war,” he said. He added the price increases are based solely from the first round of tariffs placed on Chinese goods by Trump in July 2018. Price increases from the latest round of tariffs set earlier this month are not likely to be felt until June, he said.
Television manufacturing is largely dominated by Japanese and Korean firms, with most equipment made in Japan and Korea and shipped to the United States and Mexico for assembly. TVs largely have been able to escape price increases so far, Bendell said.
However, he added some television components are made in China, and it’s possible TV prices might eventually rise based on the latest round of tariffs.
Trump first began imposing tariffs in January 2018, when he placed tariffs of 30% to 50% on solar panels and washing machines. In March 2018, he added a 25% tariff on most imported steel and a 10% tariff on most aluminum.
On July 6, 2018, the Trump administration imposed a 25% tariff on 818 categories of goods imported from China with a total value of $50 billion. Earlier this month, after trade talks with China ended without an agreement, Trump imposed an additional tariff of 10% to 25% on another $200 billion of Chinese imports.
China retaliated on Monday, imposing tariff’s on $60 billion of American products, largely agricultural commodities.