HATS bearing US President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) will potentially double in price due rising tariffs imposed by Washington amid a trade war with Beijing
The Trump administration – which won the 2016 election on the promise of bringing manufacturing jobs back to the United States – announced last week a list of 6000 Chinese products worth some US$200 billion which it proposes to apply tariffs of 10 percent to, according to the Associated Press.
Such items would include hats, handbags, furniture, food and agricultural products.
The owner of a California-based IncredibleGifts which sells novelty items online told ABC News that the price of MAGA hats on his website would increase from around $9-12 to $20 if the tariffs are imposed.
David Lassoff said at present the MAGA hats were made in China but embroidered with the lettering in the US. He told ABC News that his Chinese suppliers were “nervous” about the potential impact of increased tariffs and that IncredibleGifts is stockpiling the items in preparation.
“There might be a limited quantity [of hats] in the future. We’re trying to make sure we have enough hats in stock now, so if things change, we’re prepared,” Lassoff was quoted as saying, adding that the company had sold 100,000 MAGA hats since Trump announced his candidacy in June 2015.
“They’re our hottest item,” Lassoff said, stating that his company was looking to import goods from Vietnam instead to avoid the tariffs. “I think they would be negative for any business selling goods from China.”
Mary Lovely, a Syracuse University economics professor told AP that US consumers “will feel” the impact of the tariffs, “perhaps as early as Christmas”.
The two economic giants imposed duties on some $34 billion worth of each other’s imports earlier this month, with China accusing the Trump administration of starting the “largest-scale trade war.”
Flags promoting a prospective Trump campaign for the presidential elections in 2020 are also being manufactured in China.