Fargo Antique, Gift Shop Stops Buying From China Because of Tariffs

President Trump raised tariffs from 10 to 25 percent on Friday

FARGO, N.D. — Donald Trump raised tariffs on Chinese exports from 10 to 25 percent. Now Beijing is retaliating by doing the same to American goods.

It’s causing a Fargo woman to change her business plan for the first time in 20 years.

“I didn’t ever plan on any of this but it started with a trip to China,” said Cindy O’Day, owner of O’Day Cache.

Since 2000, O’Day has been to China more than 50 times to get all kinds of antiques and gifts for her store, O’Day Cache.

When O’Day makes her trip to China, she usually gets a train boxcar full of stuff. But last October, she stocked up on even more items like home decor in preparation of higher tariffs.

Making it the last trip she’ll be making to the country for awhile.

“If I would have had my container complete and coming through now, it would be an additional 25 percent versus 10 percent, three percent, five percent. So I didn’t want to take the risk of having it cross into the U.S. and get hit with the 25 percent,” O’Day said.

It’s a cost she says isn’t worth it when she typically gets about $75,000 to $100,000 in items for her store, meaning she’d spend up to $25,000 alone in tariffs.

“When you’re looking at $100,000 container, it could be $5,000, $6,000. But when you jump to 25, I have to look at the bigger picture of everything I bring in. I’m a small business, a real small business so it isn’t something that I want to step into and increase my prices,” O’Day said.

But small businesses aren’t the only ones feeling the brunt of a trade war.

Government data shows 14 industries in Cass County are being affected including soybean and wheat as well as farm machinery and equipment manufacturing.

Some say the trade war is necessary to correct what they call 20 years of unlawful trading practices between the U.S. and China.

“This is a risk we should and can take without damaging our economy in appreciable way. Maybe the toughest burden is on farmers, the agriculture sector. We get that. We’ve helped them before on lost exports. I think we had an authorization of $12 billion. We’ll do it again if we have to,” said Larry Kudlow, White House economic advisor.

For small business owners like O’Day, a longer trade war will mean looking to other countries to fill her store.

She already gets some of her items from Thailand, Turkey, France, India and Morocco.

O’Day says she’s hopeful a deal will be reached soon but depending on how long it takes, she expects consumers to start paying the price.

“Most of the clothing is made there, so you’re talking a 25 percent jump. That’s going to make a difference really in a lot of the products because 25 percent might end up being another 50 percent more. I think they’ll see a difference in what they buy,” O’Day said.

O’Day says Chinese vendors don’t seem concerned about the trade war despite the fact they’ll be paying more in tariffs as well.

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