Can a new round of tariff threats hit the U.S. retail industry survive?

category:Finance
 Can a new round of tariff threats hit the U.S. retail industry survive?


More urgently, U.S. retailers will be preparing for the holiday shopping season immediately: for U.S. retailers, the busiest import season is August to October.

These three months are for the holidays. As David French, senior vice president of government relations at NRF, points out, consumers will feel price increases very quickly.

Zhou Shijian, a senior researcher at the Center for Sino-US Relations at Tsinghua University who has worked in the Chinese Embassy in the United States for many years, told First Financial and Economic Journalist that at present, the United States can not do without Chinese-made goods: Take shoes as an example, 60% of shoes in the United States market are imported from China at present.

Its unrealistic to force consumers to buy American goods

Jonathan Gold, Vice President of Supply Chain and Customs Policy at NRF, explained that even if almost all related imports were affected by tariffs, retailers would not change the supply chain quickly or easily, which meant that American households would eventually pay more for the goods they could not live without. Use. Its time to stop punishing American businesses, workers and families.

Zhou Shijian pointed out that the U.S. retail industry is heavily dependent on foreign imports. In China, for example, two-thirds of Chinas exports to the United States belong to consumer goods.

Among them, the United States imports 86% of toys from China, 61% of luggage, 60% of shoes, 44% of furniture, 37% of textiles and clothing, 27.1% of electromechanical products, 94% of laptops and tablets, 40% of digital cameras and 27% of home color TV sets.

Zhou Shijian, who had previously done relevant statistics at the Commercial Office of the Embassy in the United States, told First Financial and Economic Journalist that there are basically no domestic leather shoes in the United States. In the American market, the number of shoes made in the United States dropped from 22 in 1986 to 11 in 1996, to 1.5 in 2006 and to 1 pair in 2016.

For example, more than 90% of laptops come from China. American newspapers report a rise of $125 per laptop. After graduating from college in June, American college students need to buy laptops. Price increases need to be fermented among consumers for some time. Zhou Shijian said.

Earlier, U.S. President Trump announced a new version of the Made in America Executive Order on July 16, requiring the federal government to consider amending Executive Order No. 10582 signed by former President Eisenhower in 1954 to upgrade the Buy American standards.

Such anti-economic globalization as Buy American is simply impossible. Zhou Shijian told First Financial Journalist that after World War II, the United States adjusted its labor-intensive industries through three major industrial adjustments. Now, how can it be possible to move back?

Franche pointed out that it was unrealistic to require all retailers to transfer purchases. In the short term, retailers will have to continue using their original suppliers and pass on higher costs to consumers.

The U.S. Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) also estimates that tariffs will cost American consumers an additional $4.9 billion a year on clothes, an average of $60 per year for a family of four.

Retail underperformance forced layoffs

For tariffs, retailers in the United States collectively warned that a new round of tariff increases could speed up job cuts in the most depressed sector. Julia Hughes, president of the American Fashion Industry Association (USFIA), said: For companies with shaky foundations, this will only push them to the edge faster.

Gary Wakley, senior vice president of footwear purchasing at sportswear company Fila, said American workers would be the first to receive unemployment notice.

Wade Miquelon, CEO of Jo-Ann, a fabric and crafts chain, said: Our company will face tough decisions, including layoffs and closures.

At present, employment in the retail industry in the United States has begun to shrink under the impact of the electronics business: data released in August by the Federal Reserve and the United States Labor Office show that employment in the retail industry in July 2019 decreased by 49,000 compared with July 2017. Among them, Department stores, clothing chains and electronic parts stores bear the brunt. If not for grocery stores and car dealers to increase recruitment, the number of presidents will be even worse.

As a result, American retail industry has become the first major popular industry in the United States with a significant reduction in employment. In fact, all major economic sectors in the United States have achieved employment growth in the past two years, except for public sector employment. Of these, about 370,000 jobs have been added to transportation and warehousing related to electronics since July 2017. Industries ranging from professional services to health care also continued to open the door to recruitment last month.

By contrast, according to the latest employment market data, retail jobs in July were seasonally adjusted to an additional 3,600 jobs. Within the retail industry, department stores and e-commerce stores have laid off 3700 and 5700 employees, respectively. Fortunately, the increase in grocery store hiring has cushioned the impact of online shopping on the number of CEOs.

It is worth noting that after the latest US tariff threat was released, the shares of several of the worlds largest retailers, including Best Buy, Gap and Macys, continued to fall sharply. Since this year, American retailers have been underperforming in US stocks and have failed to beat the S&P 500 index.