North Texas Businesses Concerned About Potential Trade War

The clock is ticking toward a potential trade war with China.

At the stroke of midnight, President Trump says tariffs will kick-in on more than $34 billion worth of Chinese goods.

The move could have far-reaching effects on consumers and businesses.

In a 15-page letter, Plano-based Toyota said its North American operations and potentially jobs could be at risk if tariff’s are imposed.

In the letter to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Toyota also pointed out there isn’t a car made in the U.S. that doesn’t use imported parts.

But it isn’t just big businesses that could feel the pinch.

Jamie Romerge, owner of The Green Tuffet in Allen, sells mostly handpicked home goods bought locally at auction.

But, Romerge says about 20-percent of her merchandise is imported from China and says tariffs could cut into her profits that are already thin.

“It is concerning to me of course,” she said, but added that if prices on Chinese goods go up, she can find other ways to offset the cost since Chinese goods are only a fraction of her merchandise.

Michael Davis, economic professor at SMU isn’t nearly as optimistic about the tariffs, saying they will do nothing to level the playing field for American companies.

“It’s leveling the playing field in the same way that dropping an atomic bomb would level the playing field. It makes it uninhabitable for everybody,” Davis said.

Davis says President Trump pulling the trigger first on tariffs will almost certainly set off a trade war, with China retialiating with its own tariffs making it more difficult for U.S. companies to export.

“Almost any economist you would talk to, whether they’re a right-winger or a left-winger, would say that these tariffs are a bad idea,” Davis said.

Davis also pointed out Texas exports more than any other state in the country.

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