(Metal tariffs) Retailers predict higher prices

Business | 9 Mar 2018 12:01 pm

The tariffs would have a far reaching impact that goes beyond beer cans and cars to other products that people wouldn’t expect, such as furniture and lamps, said Hun Quach, vice president of trade at the Retail Industry Leaders Association, a retail trade group counts such members as Walmart, Best Buy and Home Depot.

Quach dismissed Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s recent comments that these tariffs would mean insignificant price increases on cans of Campbell soup and Coca-Cola. She argued that view doesn’t take into account the volume of cans and other items that companies have to buy that would result in significant costs to their bottom line.

The tariffs also come at a time when retailers are rushing to remodel their stores and build huge e-commerce distribution centers that require steel, Quach noted.

"Our point is that these tariffs are going to have a bigger impact on our American economy than what their goal is,” she said.

The head of the National Retail Federation, whose members include department store chains, grocery stores and other merchants around the world, also raised objections to the tariffs Thursday, calling them a tax on all Americans.

"A tariff is a tax, plain and simple,” said Matthew Shay, president and chief executive of the NRF. "Consumers are just beginning to see more money in their paychecks following tax reform, but those gains will soon be offset by higher prices for products ranging from canned goods to cars to electronics.”-AP

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