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Trump’s $50 billion Chinese trade war begins July 6; tariffs include vaping gear

Earlier this month, President Donald Trump announced a trade war with China, and vaping technology appears to be on the very long list of included products.  From ball bearings to X-ray machines, the U.S. is threatening to impose nearly half a trillion dollars in tariffs on Chinese imports slated to rollout in a two-phase approach.

July 6 is the first deadline where a 25 percent tax will be slapped on a whopping 818 consumer goods. The second wave will involve another 284 products, but the implementation date remains undetermined.  Together, the combined 1102 Chinese imports will result in an extra $50 billion in import taxes, which might very well be transferred onto individual consumers in the form of price tag increases. 

According to a recent Reuters report,

“…lurking inside the tariff lists are some surprises, from Google Nest thermostats to vaping devices to equipment used by aspiring rock stars.”
“Imports of Chinese-made vaping devices to the tune of $300 million a year will be hit, as will $16 million of electronics effects units, used by rock bands to distort guitar sounds.”

The Chinese trade war stems from a June 2018 press release issued by the White House Press Office in what has escalated into a tit-for-tat tax offensive between the two nations.  According to the report, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has created an extensive list of products that focuses on industrial goods per the Made in China 2025 plan of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. 

“China’s government is aggressively working to undermine America’s high-tech industries and our economic leadership through unfair trade practices and industrial policies like ‘Made in China 2025.’  Technology and innovation are America’s greatest economic assets and President Trump rightfully recognizes that if we want our country to have a prosperous future, we must take a stand now to uphold fair trade and protect American competitiveness.”

What does this mean for the average American vaper?  The future of vaping is still somewhat unclear, but the lion’s share of American vaping devices and related technology are manufactured and exported by Chinese companies.  However, even Wall Street was not taking these presidential threats very seriously until very recently.  But as the July 6 deadline draws near, the stock market has started to show signs of concern.

On Monday, the Dow plunged almost 500 points, but some believe that the drop has as much to do with Harley Davidson as with China.  The motorcycle manufacturer had just announced that it will be relocating production of some of its bikes to the European Union – specifically citing Trump’s trade wars with China and Europe as the chief determining factor for the controversial decision.  (PImage courage of CNN)


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