‘Bullseye’: How Trump’s Next China Tariffs Would Hit Graco Car Seats, Ralph Lauren Shirts, J. Renee Shoes and More

WASHINGTON — Eric Harrison can think of only one word to sum up what President Donald Trump’s latest round of proposed tariffs on Chinese goods would mean for his Carrollton-based shoe company: “catastrophic.”Ninety-eight percent of J. Renee Group’s pumps, wedges and other products are manufactured in China, meaning that almost its entire inventory would be hit with a new 25% surcharge.“We’ve got a big bullseye on us right now,” said Harrison, the CEO of his family-owned company, which employs about 35 workers in North Texas, where its footwear is designed, and another 15 or so people elsewhere in the U.S.Harrison is among the many business leaders in Texas and beyond now barraging the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative with dire warnings about the president’s looming threat to impose import levies on an additional $300 billion in Chinese goods.Trump’s gambit, if enacted in the coming weeks, would come on top of tariffs he already put on $250 billion in Chinese goods, leaving almost no Chinese import to the U.S. untouched.While the business community has complained at every stage of Trump’s multi-front trade war — explaining time and again that tariffs are taxes often paid by average Americans — the latest alarms underscore the growing potential impact to consumers in Texas and all over the U.S.Earlier batches of China tariffs were designed to avoid many consumer items, though that dynamic began to change when Trump last month ramped up levies on a huge swath of Chinese goods. The latest edition could produce a shopping shock.Prices could spike on everything from Ralph Lauren shirts to televisions to Graco car seats to tea to, yes, J. Renee shoes.Harrison pointed out that imported footwear is already subject to large tariffs. So an additional levy would be almost prohibitive, he said. The company would be forced to raise prices as a result, tacking on $10 to $20 to a Maressa dress pump that now retails for $90.“We can’t eat the added cost, our factories can’t eat that, the retailers can’t eat it,” he said, explaining that his concerns are strictly business, nothing political. “So that cost is going to get passed onto the consumer, and ultimately, we’re going to sell less shoes.”Trump’s trade war with China is once again at the forefront after the president detoured in recent weeks to engage in a tariff tussle against Mexico.  Continue reading...

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