“The way I look at it, we’ve literally put a tax on having a child from those products to car seats and other things,” Shamie said.  He made his remarks on a call with business owners and reporters arranged by Tariffs Hurt the Heartland Wednesday. His biggest concern? Customers making $60,000-$70,000 a year won’t be able to afford the increase and will turn to thrift shops and used items that aren’t as safe as current products.”Their income didn’t go up, but their expenses went up, ” Shamie added . “How do you expect them to afford it?”Jay Foreman, CEO of Boca Raton, Florida-based Basic Fun! Toys, whose toys include the classics Lite Brite and View-Master, said some retailers plan to raise prices this holiday season by 10% to 20% while others may wait until next year. There is a “direct correlation” to the tariffs and potential job cuts at Basic Fun!, Foreman said on the call. “We are not making toys here using imaginary elves from the North Pole,” he said. “American workers are designing, developing selling, shipping and tracking our toys. These tariffs have the potential to stagnate our growth and force us to reduce staff and cut jobs here in Florida.”Tariffs offset by farm subsidiesStill, Mr. Trump’s tariffs have been offset by roughly $28 billion in government aid promised to American farmers whose sales have been crippled or blocked by China’s retaliatory moves in response to the U.S. tariffs. That includes $12 billion in aid announced last year and $16 billion announced in May. Recent research suggests that for Chinese imports subject to tariffs so far, American consumers and businesses are taking the biggest hit in the form of higher prices and costs. In May, a study from the Federal Reserve found that tariffs in effect could cost the average family $831 a year.

Customs duties collected in the fiscal year that started last October currently total $50 billion, up from $28.3 billion for the same 10 months in 2018, according to recent U.S. treasury data. That pace puts the U.S. on track to collect $72 billion annually, the Wall Street Journal noted Wednesday.That $72 billion projection may seem like a lot, but it’s just 0.4% of the $20 trillion U.S. economy, still the world’s largest.Still, that doesn’t take into account the “snowball effect” the tariffs might have on a small business where most or all of their profit is eaten up by new tariffs, said Wade Miquelon, CEO of Hudson, Ohio-based JOANN stores, on the Tariffs Hurt the Heartland call Wednesday. His company was hit “substantially” by the last round of tariffs at 25%.That’s what’s “very significant and scary” because job cuts lead to fewer consumer purchases, which slows growth in a “vicious cycle” of higher prices and less demand that  “just feeds the entire beast of a tougher economy,” Miquelon said. “It’s not like a lot of companies are complaining because their profits will be down just a couple percent or even 10%,” Miquelon said.  “We’re talking about, in many cases, more than 100%.”The White House last year began imposing tariffs on imported goods under decades-old trade statutes, including the duties on Chinese goods under what’s known as Section 301 of a 1974 trade law.

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