How tariffs are impacting retailers

As the trade war continues, U.S. businesses and consumers are paying the price, but how did we get here and what is the end game? Scott McCandless, Trade Policy Leader for PwC US, joins the Retail Gets Real podcast along with NRF Chief Lobbyist David French to shed light on how tariffs are impacting the industry.

 

While trade policy may change overnight, the complex global supply chains that transport the goods U.S. retailers rely on take longer to adjust. Tariffs are paid by the American businesses that receive the goods as they are imported, and the cost is often passed down the supply chain. As the price of tariffs continue to rise, some retailers are unable to absorb the costs and must pass them on to the consumer by way of raising prices.

McCandless notes that the uncertainty of the environment is another impact to watch. "It's leading to a great amount of uncertainty. And uncertainty tends to chill business investment," McCandless said. "With regard to China investment, it's a very difficult calculus. A lot of investment has been made there. There's obviously a big market that a lot of U.S. businesses would like to tap into, whether now or in the foreseeable future."

Listen to the full episode to hear more, including McCandless' perspective on how trade policy might impact the 2020 election.

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