Friday, July 6th is the start of the latest leg of President Trump’s trade war with China
Today’s vapers are familiar with the uncommonly high taxes being imposed on their vaporizers and accessories. It has become a frequent affair to hear stories about ambitious legislators suggesting higher and higher taxes or grouping vaporizers and e-liquids in with tobacco products and their associated fees. These costs have proven to put a significant damper on helping people who want to quit smoking or utilize vaping as a harm reduction tool.
Unfortunately for American vapers, things have just gotten worse. Friday, July 6th will begin President Trump’s latest move in his trade war with China. A new nationwide import tax will be put in place. While the end result of this trade war could plausibly be beneficial for the country, vapers will be some of the first hit with a sizable 25% import tax. The tax is technically on businesses trading directly with China, but the extra costs will without a doubt be passed on to the wholesale and retail costs. The result will be a significant jump in prices for all vaporizers and accessories.
The Trade War
So how did we get here? Why is there a Trade War? How will the vaping industry be affected? During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump made promises to make trade fair for America. Trump and his staff have been investigating things like steel imports from China since at least April 2017. Trump repeatedly threatened to increase pressure via tariffs if things didn’t improve. Things had appeared to settle down with no word about duties of taxes until early 2018. It was announced then by Trump and his advisors that they would be placing a 30% tariff on solar panels effective in January. Furthermore, a 25% tariff on steel and 10% on aluminum would follow in March.
In response, China made an official announcement on counter tariffs. The first affected eight products with a 25% tax on products such as aluminum and pork. Another 120 products, including things like fruit, nuts, and wine would have a 15% tariff. The two countries went back and forth, tit for tat, adding around $50 billion to the stakes each time around. The latest tariff announced, 25% on around $34 billion worth of Chinese goods, will be in effect July 6th, and this is the one that effects vaping products.
The Results for Vaping
Reuters published a report regarding this latest tariff, stating that only 1% of the 1,102 products being affected are consumer goods. Unfortunately for vapers, a large chunk of that 1% is vaping products. This includes mods and atomizers, meaning this 25% tariff will ultimately affect over $300 million worth of vaping devices. What is even more troubling? China controls nearly the entirety of the high-end vaporizer market. This means that it would make it extremely difficult, practically impossible, to get those kinds of products elsewhere.
This 25% jump in cost will not only affect your wallet, but it’s also highly probable that it will have further effects on businesses and the vaping community at large. Manufacturer’s costs will increase, which in all probability will cause a decrease in the availability of devices. That rarity will drive the prices up even further. That will unmistakably change the affordability of the products. The savings, along with product availability were enormous factors for many people when making the switch from smoking to vaping. If one, or both of these positive aspects are taken away, it is likely that many people could return to smoking, putting their health and well-being at risk.
For all of our estimations and predictions, we don’t have a crystal ball, and we don’t know how this trade war will end. The scale of this trade dispute is massive, pitting the two largest economies in the world against each other. If the United States comes out on top, it could potentially mean lower prices, but at this moment it seems like we are taking the brunt of the cost with these new tariffs.
It is essential at this time to continue supporting vaping as a harm reduction and smoking cessation tool. What is far more important than any trade dispute is the health and wellness of the millions of smokers throughout the country who could switch to vaping, along with those who already have. It is imperative that we, along with our friends and loved ones, do not revert to cigarettes due simply to increased prices. Together we can make it through, retain our health and safety, and continue to help more people find the benefits of vaping for years to come.
Do you believe that vaping products should be a part of this first round of tariffs? What sort of impact do you think this tax will have? Will the increasing costs potentially drive you or someone you know back to traditional smoking? Let us know what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to check back here or join our Facebook and Twitter communities for more news and articles.
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