Retailers, manufacturers, and importers are now bracing themselves for the possible repercussions when the import tariffs on Chinese furniture go into effect next week. The preparations began last spring as US retailers and wholesalers began decreasing their purchases from Chinese furniture makers, according to a recent article on msn.com
About one year ago a group of US furniture makers petitioned the ITC and US Commerce Department to impose the tariff. After further investigation, the Commerce Department found that 35,000 US jobs in the industry had been lost over the past 4 years due to the increase in the amount of American consumers that are purchasing the cheaper Chinese furniture.
Industry analyst, Ivan Cutler, predicts that if the average tariff exceeds 20% it will force some companies out of business, and if that happens some of the larger Chinese furniture makers with low tariffs will become more dominant and simply buy out the smaller manufacturers with higher tariffs. Donald Parker, senior vice president of merchandising for retail giant Rhodes Inc. said, "It's been the most divisive issue in this industry that I've seen in my 38 years in this industry."
Through the experiments that we did in class on Aplia, I have a hard time seeing how import tariffs can be beneficial for anybody, consumers or suppliers. If I remember correctly, during the experiments, the tariff that was imposed only seemed to diminish profits for one party or the other.