US greeting card publishers who manufacture in China are bracing themselves for a 10% tariff for all cards produced there to come into effect on September 1 as President Trump ramps up his trade war. As the import levy is based on ‘country of origin’, it will also affect UK card publishers (as well as those from other countries) exporting cards to the States that have been manufactured in China.
“The ‘rules’ have not been issued yet, but the assumption is that the 10% tariff will be on all stock leaving China on 1 September or later. In other words, there is going to be a mad rush to get everything shipped by 31 August – from everyone. It will be a freight cluster!” predicts George White, president of 3D card company Up With Paper (distributes in the UK by Noel Tatt and Northlight Design).
Donald Trump’s surprise decision, announced on Twitter, heralding an escalation of the trade war with tariffs on another $300 billion ((£247 billion) of Chinese goods sent global financial markets into a tailspin and is causing mayhem in many sectors, including greeting cards.
The sector is already being battered by the tariffs that are already in place for giftbags, tissue paper and boxed Christmas cards imported into the States that have been manufactured in China. The inclusion of all single cards would hurt many more companies.
President Trump’s tweet, coming after the latest round of bilateral talks showed little sign of a breakthrough, was a major disappointment to the US GCA’s greeting card member publishers who manufacture in China, having held out hope that greeting cards would be excluded from the extension of the tariffs.
As announced on PG Buzz, on June 19 George and Hallmark’s federal affairs manager Sarah Moe Meyers both delivered convincing speeches (amplifying the views from their respective written testimonies) to the US Trade Commission in Washington DC’s seeking exemption for greeting cards on any future tariff list.
“Sadly, we have not received any word about the possible exclusion of greeting cards from the list that we requested, which is not
unexpected; requests like that take months for review before a decision. In short, barring a change between now and 1 September, the cost of all greeting cards made in China and imported to the US will be subject to a 10% tariff,” said a frustrated George.
Top: A Really Wild Card soundalike Trump card.