“I am seriously considering not importing giftbags from UK publishers that are made in China as the tariffs now in place make it very difficult,” Alan Harnik, president of Notes & Queries, a leading importer of UK publishers cards, wrap and stationery into the States referring to the harsh tariffs the Trump government has imposed on imports from China. “The tariffs that imposed to hurt China are serving to cause damage on US businesses like ours. The tariffs are based on ‘country of origin’ so if a UK publisher has manufactured the giftbags in China, but ships them to us from the UK, the products are still subject to the new 25% import taxes.”
With less than a week’s notice, the Trump administration has increased tariffs on Chinese imports to 25%-30% on all manner of products – including giftbags, boxed Christmas cards and tissue paper as well as FSDUs and wire spinners.
But the real worry is that the worst is yet to come as greeting cards that have been manufactured in China are on the list for the next round of tariffs due to come into affect in the third week of June.
Not surprisingly, the issue was a hot topic of discussion at the inaugural Noted: The Greeting Card Expo trade show, organised by the US GCA, that took place in Brooklyn earlier this week.
Rick Ruffner, president of Avanti (which distributes in the UK through GBCC) who is a leading light in the US GCA told PG Buzz: “We, at the GCA will do everything we can to stop the tariffs being imposed on greeting cards. Any price increases on products in our industry will hit the consumer,” said Rick. He confirmed that the US will be putting forward an official case imploring that greeting cards and allied products are removed from the tariff list. “We will be also highlighting how any depression of the greeting card industry will also affect revenue from US Postal Service,” said Rick.
The UK GCA’s ceo Amanda Fergusson is lending her support from this side of the Atlantic. “This is an issue where it makes absolute sense for both GCAs to work together in the effort to protect our members who are both affected, either directly or indirectly,” Amanda told PG Buzz.
Top: Donald Trump’s plan to hurt China is actually damaging US companies, including those in the greeting card trade.