Local businesses concerned about China trade war

Posted at 5:48 PM, Jul 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-20 18:48:05-04

Mike Claypool sells about 2,000 blankets a year from his roadside stand in Driscoll to people from all over.

“I get people from Canada, New York, Iowa, Kansas,” said Claypool.  “A lot of vacationers come through.”

Claypool used to sell American blankets but started selling blankets from China because Chinese goods are often cheaper.

“Everything’s made in China,” said Claypool.

But China has a $507 billion trade deficit with the United States.  That’s why President Trump recently announced a 25% tariff on about $50 billion worth of Chinese imports.  Imports like Claypool’s blankets.

Claypool makes a 25% profit on every blanket he sells, but that’s also the number his costs are about to go up by because of the trade war.

“We’re going to have to start paying high dollar, then I’m going to have to charge the customer more money,” said Claypool.  “It’s hard enough to sell them now, I sell them at a good price right now, but people want them cheaper and cheaper.”

The President believes China will eventually give in and lower its tariffs on U.S. goods.

“I’m doing this to do the right thing for our country,” said Trump.  “We have been ripped off by China for a long time.”

Claypool however, isn’t as confident.

“I’m pretty nervous,” said Claypool.  “I hope something happens and that make an agreement, but China is pretty tough.”

According to Claypool, he hasn’t had to raise prices yet.  He says if conditions don’t change, he expects to within the next two to three months, which could have a big impact on his holiday business.