Second Story Blog

Tariffs and the Promo Industry

Tariffs. China. These two words don’t have complicated meanings separately, but together, they’ve presented a complicated issue when it comes to product prices in light of tariffs established this year on goods from China. While we don’t have all the answers, we want to help make sense of it all because it does impact the promotional industry.

In effect since September 24, President Trump’s administration has placed a 10% tax on imports coming from China, which has now affected roughly $250 billion worth of products. Further, the tax may increase to 25% in 2019. The intention of these tariffs has been to improve our nation’s balance of trade — in other words, reduce the amount by which our import costs exceed our export value.

On a broad scale, what does this mean for promotional items? Prices may go up because of these tariffs, but it’s difficult to say how much and for what exact products, as it depends on whether each involved party in the supply chain decides to absorb or pass on the extra cost. Those end prices could also fluctuate throughout next year. Some product categories that suppliers and distributors anticipate will be affected include headwear, bags, keychains, tech products, drinkware, coolers and outerwear.

As a result of these taxes, those in the industry are starting a more widespread effort to move production, even for some product categories, to other nations like Turkey, Malaysia, India and Taiwan. Increasing USA-made items is also being prioritized when possible to avoid additional tariffs and support domestic labor.

Second Story Promotion’s price changes will depend on the vendor for each item, and even if prices do go up, we feel they will be minimal. Please know that we will strive to give you the best pricing possible and that we’re available to answer any questions you might have along the way.

While your budget may not change in light of potentially higher prices for promotional items, we encourage you to get creative and buy what fits into your budget. That may mean choosing products that are different from what you’ve used in the past, whether they’re lower-priced options or items not affected by tariffs. Our website is always current, so you can rest assured that you’re able to make a good choice based on what you have to spend.

We highly value our customers and want to make the tariff situation less stressful if we can. As always, we are here for you!