How Will Tariff Increases Affect You?

This article was written by Nigel Harris from 


As both Promotional Distributors and Suppliers, we could be negatively affected by the recent tariff war with China.

As of July 5th, tariffs have been applied on an additional $34 billion of goods, going beyond initial steel and aluminum targets.

Forecasting Future Tariffs

Economists are predicting a 25% tariff on all Chinese imports may be imposed, rather than continuing to select individual products.

This would mean an additional 25% on all pens, wearables, battery chargers etc., in fact, everything sold by promotional distributors.

As good business people, we are supposed to manage risk in our operations, but how do we plan for this possible eventuality?

For those opportunities we are now pitching for holiday deliveries how do we protect ourselves against the imposition of tariffs on our orders.

Will clients accept a clause in their purchase orders that reads  “Customer acknowledges that the contracted price is based on existing US tariffs?" 

Should such tariffs on purchased products be increased prior to delivery, the customer agrees to assume financial responsibility for these additional charges.”

The contract between one distributor and one client would be one thing, but what about a multi-part contract where the importer sells to the supplier who sells to the distributor who sells to the customer." 

In this scenario, four parties could be affected by a tariff increase.

Or maybe only the importer would be affected since that entity would be charged with the tariffs.

This uncertainty will change the way purchases with extended deliveries are priced.

How are you protecting yourselves and your customers against sudden and potentially devastating tariff increases?

Leaving aside your political differences, please comment below to share your thoughts and ideas about how to protect your business from tariff increases.