Costco warns of price hike due to tariff war

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Costco warns of price hike due to tariff war

05/31/2019
Costco warns about tariff hike potentially causing a product price increase within its stores.

Issaquah, Wash.-based Costco Wholesale said it will tackle the Trump administration’s recent tariff hike by importing goods from other countries and possibly having to increase its prices on products.

According to Reuters, the company’s Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti said on a post-earnings call with analysts that the situation is “pretty fluid,” and the company is looking to accelerate shipments before certain tariffs are put into effect.

“We want to be the last to raise them. And when prices are going down, we want to be the first to lower them. We’re not afraid to use some of those monies to again drive business,” Galanti said.

The National Retail Federation’s (NRF) David French said last week that American consumers would face higher prices and U.S. jobs would be lost if President Donald Trump made good on a threat to raise duties from 10% to 25% on $200 billion in Chinese goods. But Trump’s threat became reality a few weeks ago, and China subsequently announced it will enact tariffs on more than 5,000 U.S. products in retaliation for Trump’s decision.

French, senior vice president of government relations for the Washington, D.C.-based NRF, warned that Trump’s sudden tariff increase would severely disrupt U.S. businesses, especially small companies that have limited resources to mitigate the impact.

China’s new tariffs, which take effect June 1, would impact $60 billion in U.S. imports and would range from 5% to 25%. The thousands of products include peanuts, sugar, wheat, chicken and turkey.

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