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Tariffs and Promotional Products

Tariffs and Promotional Products

What does it mean for your company?

There has been no larger disruption to the promotional product world than the newly imposed tariffs on imported products from China. Over the last 8 months, the promotional product industry has been on edge while import tariffs have been put in place, put on hold, and ultimately increased. The most recent 25% increase is hitting our promotional product vendors harder than the previous 10% increases. 

Those who prefer to flip through a catalog of items and select just the right ones for your upcoming event have probably noticed a couple of things since the beginning of 2019. 

  1. There aren't as many catalogs available as there were in 2018
  2. The catalogs you did get, may not have pricing

This is all due to the concern of putting out pricing that could be out of date before summer even hits. Those vendors were right to be cautious as the May 10, 2019 increase is causing many to raise their prices. 

Before you get too worried about these price increases, keep the following in mind:

  • The 25% tariff is imposed on the hard goods imported from China.  In many cases these items are imported blank and the decoration is done here in the United States.  Hard good pricing is only a part of the equation which ultimately derives the sale price. That being said, we do not expect the price that you see going up an instant 25%.
  • On most everyday items (pens, small giveaways, etc) the difference is only a few pennies or dimes. The higher priced items (bluetooth speakers, name-brand apparel, etc.) will see more of an increase only because the base price is higher, so you may see a few dollars difference there.
  • This only affects products imported from China. We realize this is a lot of products. But we have some great sources in Vietnam, Mexico, Canada, and even right here in the US!

The bottom line is ... yes, some prices are going up. However, they aren't going up so much you need to cancel your summer picnic t-shirt orders or start rethinking Christmas gifts because your budget can't afford them. If you are reordering from last year, you may notice a slight uptick in pricing. As always, JH Specialty aims to be as open and honest as possible with our clients. Reach out to your Account Manager to discuss any pricing questions that you have.