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Imports in US spike as retailers seek to beat tariffs on Chinese goods

IMPORTS at the leading retail container ports in the United States are expected to hit their highest level of the year again in November ahead of more tariffs are expected to be introduced in December, according to the latest Global Port Tracker report by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates

Imports in US spike as retailers seek to beat tariffs on Chinese goods

IMPORTS at the leading retail container ports in the United States are expected to hit their highest level of the year again in November ahead of more tariffs are expected to be introduced in December, according to the latest Global Port Tracker report by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates

13 October 2019 - 19:00

IMPORTS at the leading retail container ports in the United States are expected to hit their highest level of the year again in November ahead of more tariffs are expected to be introduced in December, according to the latest Global Port Tracker report by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

'This is the last chance to bring merchandise into the country before virtually everything the United States imports from China comes under tariffs,' said NRF vice president Jonathan Gold.



'Retailers are doing all they can to mitigate the impact of tariffs on their customers. The effect on prices will vary by retailer and product during the holiday season, but ultimately these taxes on America businesses and consumers will result in higher prices.'



New 15 per cent tariffs on a wide range of consumer goods from China took effect at the beginning of September and are scheduled to be expanded to additional goods on December 15 - covering a total of US$300 billion in imports. In addition, 25 per cent tariffs on $250 billion worth of imports already imposed over the past year are scheduled to rise to 30 per cent on October 15.



'Let there be no doubt, US trade policies and enforcement mechanisms have directly caused a global slowdown in economic growth,' Hackett Associates founder Ben Hackett said.



'The strength of retail consumption will push any meaningful slowdown in imports into next year, when the full impact of the tariff wars will be translated into a consumption tax felt by consumers.'



US ports covered by Global Port Tracker handled 1.97 million TEU in August, a 3.9 per cent increase year on year. Numbers dipped in September as new tariffs took effect, coming in at an estimated 1.9 million TEU, up 1.6 per cent against last year.



The first half of 2019 totalled 10.5 million TEU, up 2.1 per cent over the first half of 2018, and 2019 is forecast to set a new record of 22 million TEU, an increase 1.2 per cent over last year's previous record of 21.8 million TEU.


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