Ongoing trade war between U.S., China impacts local business


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The ongoing trade war between the United States and China is beginning to impact local businesses.

Providence gift shop Frog & Toad has started to increase prices slightly on some items in the store within the last few weeks.

Owner Ashe Schofield said when he went to place orders for the holiday season, he noticed his vendors had changed their prices.

“Perhaps 60% of our vendors have reported that they needed to increase the pricing on items we have stocked previously,” Schofield told Eyewitness News.

Schofield said the increases are directly tied to the United States trade war with China.

President Donald Trump has increased tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of goods from China. The Chinese government has responded with tariffs of their own.

On Friday, Trump tweeted an increase from 10-to-15% on $300 billion dollars worth of goods starting Sept. 1. He also said 25% tariffs on $250 billion dollars of Chinese products would increase to 30% on Oct. 1.

“It’s forcing us to have the decision, do we absorb that cost in order to maintain the same pricing for our customers or do we have to increase the pricing for our customers that I hate to do,” Schofield said.

He said he’s checked in with owners in the same industry in the region and they are all facing the same increases.

As an example, Schofield pointed to small hand crank music boxes that his store has sold for 15 years.

He said he had to increase the price this week 25 cents to $8.95 because of a hike from the supplier.

“In order to remain in business, those are the sorts of hard decisions you have to make,” he said.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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