CEO of Halstead/Metroflor Weighs in On Tariffs

Norwalk, CT, May 10, 2019-Harlan Stone, CEO of Halstead/Metroflor, released the following statement about the Chinese tariff increase to 25%. 

“With the swirling headlines, choppy stock markets, and social media activity, it can be difficult to make sense of what is going on in the USA-China Trade negotiations. But here are the simple facts as 8:00 a.m. Friday morning May 10, 2019 in the United States of America:

  1. High-level trade negotiations are expected to continue in Washington, DC today.
  2. The goal of these discussions has never changed: come to an agreement that allows for more open, fair, and increased trade between the world’s two largest economies.
  3. Negotiations require “clever tactics” and continuous “point-counter point” positions; this is exactly what has been happening since early 2018 and will continue until a final agreement is achieved.
  4. Imports of products from China on the so-called “List 3” (which included LVT and other consumer products) will continue to enter the USA today at a 10% additional tariff-the same as they did yesterday, and the same as they will on Monday.
  5. The official Federal Register Notice published this week is very clear-only goods that were exported from China after midnight last night (U.S. Eastern Standard Time) will be affected by any escalation of that tariff from 10% to 25%.
  6. The average transit by sea from China ports to U.S. ports is 35 days (+/- 3 days).
  7. This means there is a 5 to 6 week window for the negotiations to continue without any impact on U.S. consumers, businesses, or the overall economy. This is a good thing.
  8. Essentially all current “on water” shipments from China will be allowed to enter the USA at prevailing tariff rates, regardless of the arrival date.
  9. Twice previously the escalation to a 25% tariff on the List 3 items has been avoided, and now for third time the action to raise the tariff rate to 25% has been delayed.

10.Finally three thoughts:

* Things are not always what they seem to be; 

* Confusion can be considered a tactical advantage in certain situations; 

* Staying focused on the facts can be good for a person’s blood pressure.”