China exports 12 times more electric blankets by value than any other country in the world, with the Czech Republic a distant second. The US already has an 11.4% tariff rate on the product. With an additional 25% levy and few alternatives, consumers looking to purchase electric blankets to treat ailments, reduce heating costs, or save energy are likely to see higher prices.
As evidenced by a walk down any american street during a rain shower most people are using collapsible umbrellas when the weather turns. With $774 million in global exports of the product in 2018, China is the world’s leader in protecting commuters in stormy weather. Currently the US has no tariff for importing umbrellas. It is possible that other countries will be able to quickly increase their production. Umbrellas are a simple product to manufacture. In the short-term, higher tariffs would be passed on, costing Americans a lot more to stay dry.
Of the products the US is heavily reliant on China for, video game consoles are the product on which Americans spend the most. Consoles like the Microsoft Xbox, Sony PlayStation and Nintendo Switch now have no tariff. In a joint letter, the makers of those consoles say that US consumers will have to pay $840 million more for consoles as a result. Japan is the second biggest exporter in the industry, and could stand to benefit.
The current 8.4% tariff on plastic flowers doesn’t seem to be stopping American buyers. Perhaps an additional 25% might. The US is the world’s fifth largest exporter of plastic flowers, with $16 million in foreign sales in 2018. Domestic manufacturers could benefit.
Imported Iron and steel cooking appliances currently face no tariff in the US. A 25% tariff will cost those who want a cheap stainless steel barbecue grill. In this category the US is second only to China in global exports, suggesting there are opportunities to produce more domestically—as long as US manufacturers are making similar products.
China exported 30 times more electric toasters by value than any other country in 2018. As a relatively simple consumer product to manufacture, it seems likely that countries like Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia will begin manufacturing the product if Chinese toasters become more expensive to import.
Americans don’t just love artificial flowers made out of plastic. The US is also the top importer of artificial flowers made out of other materials—like paper, and fabric. Non-plastic flowers already have tarifs of between 4.7% and 17%. China, Hong Kong and Thailand are the only three countries that export more of the product than they import, so US buyers won’t have many options if higher tariffs go into place.
If the US increases its tariff rates on vacuum flasks on China from the current 7% to 32%, the big winner might just be manufacturers in Thailand. The Thai thermos industry has exploded over the last fifteen years, and is now the world’s second largest exporter after China.
More Americans may be lounging under an Eastern European umbrella if the trade war heats up again. Only China, Bosnia, and Poland, have a $5 million or more trade surplus of garden umbrellas. The US already collects a 6.5% tariff on the product.
Portable radios and tape recorders are a dying product, given what phones can now do. World exports fell from $2 billion in 2001 to less than $600 million in 2018. Currently, they are free from tariffs. Increased tariff rates would probably just exacerbate the radio/tape recorder’s decline.
New parents looking for a cheap baby stroller will likely face higher prices if the rate on Chinese imports rises from its current to 29.4% from 4.4%. The big winner could be Poland, which now supplies much of Europe with its baby carriages.