What You Need to Know About Jag & Chinese Tariffs

As you may be aware, many of the promotional products and decorated apparel pieces that you buy from Jag (and other suppliers of these types of items) are imported from China. The impact of our current trade issues with China has begun to seriously impact our industry, and unless something changes almost immediately, will become substantially greater in 2019.

This is NOT a political commentary, but rather a statement of our business reality as forecast by a wide range of executives and consultants throughout our industry. Many items were subjected to a 10% tariff as of September 24th of this year; this amount is set to increase to 25% on January 1, 2019. These fees do or will affect roughly 6000 items, ranging from electronics to plastics and rubber goods. They also include apparel and other textiles (like tote bags).

Industry analysts are forecasting price increases in 2019 ranging from 12% to 20% or more. Additionally, the tariffs may also lead to supply chain disruption, destabilized annual pricing (thus, prices in your catalogs may increase by the time you are ready to order), reduced availability of goods and, of course, a potential migration from Chinese-made goods to those made in other, more trade-friendly countries (including the US itself).

As an industry, there are many ongoing efforts in progress to find real, lasting and long-term solutions to this issue. Among them, industry leaders and industry association executives are lobbying members of Congress for relief. They are also working directly with these same people to communicate our concerns with the US Trade Representative to appeal for exemptions & exclusions from the tariffs, as well as to create a process for applying for them.

Closer to home, we at Jag are working with our network of supplier partners to identify opportunities to purchase/supply you with goods made in the US, Canada, Mexico and other countries that are not subject to Chinese or similar tariffs. However, because China has played such a major role in the production of goods for our industry, changing to new factories in other countries will take time and will likely not result in cost reductions for some time.

Ultimately, we believe that the key to successfully navigating through this murky situation is communication. We remain fully committed to providing high quality products and unparalleled service at competitive prices. We all need to be a bit flexible, but by working together and allowing a little extra time on these types of projects, we will continue to find the right solutions for your project needs.

We will continue to monitor this situation closely, and welcome your questions, comments and suggestions. And we look forward to working with you to make 2019 a successful year for all of us!

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