Trade war threatens Walmart’s low prices
“As the largest retailer in the United States and a major buyer of U.S. manufactured goods, we are very concerned about the impacts these tariffs would have on our business, our customers, our suppliers and the U.S. economy as a whole. Should the tariffs go into effect, Walmart customers will face cost increases for essential items like car seats, cribs, backpacks, hats, pet products and bicycles. Either consumers will pay more, suppliers will receive less, retail margins will be lower, or consumers will buy fewer products or forego purchases altogether.”
USAGOLD note: The above is an extract from a letter Walmart sent U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. It speaks to the connection between rising tariffs on Chinese imports and rising consumer prices in the United States – a probability we emphasized early-on in the trade dispute. Yesterday’s Consumer Price Index release showed little or no effect at this juncture, but part of the larger tariff scheme just went into effect late September with the remainder scheduled to go into effect January, 2019. It will take time for those increases to show-up in consumer prices.
Image by Walmart Corporate [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons [Edited]