Anyone know about US-China trade war implications for American tea drinkers?
Following the US-China trade war has made me a bit nervous about the consequences for the tea market, both from a production standpoint, where the trade war may indirectly impact the tea-producing regions’ economies, and from a US tea market perspective, where I could see prices rise due to import tariffs. But I’ve also heard about Chinese Yuan currency manipulation being used to keep Chinese goods prices relatively flat even with tariffs. Anyone else closely following this? Is the White2Tea tea club subscription price going to go up? Is there going to be a run on the market these next couple weeks/months before tariffs kick in?
The best hope is Trump will come to his senses and reverse his trade war. While he was right that there were a lot of trade imbalances between the US and China high tariffs are paid for by the American people. People who will hopefully send him a message in the mid term elections. Trump is currently threatening to put tariffs on all Chinese goods which would include tea. It seems to me that he doesn’t realize how unpopular this will be when it starts effecting people’s wallets and bank accounts. Tea imports are only a small fraction of Chinese imports. I think an unsuccessful trade war will force him out of office in two and a half more years.
To date, the tariffs are on specific items, so I suspect tea and ebay purchases are flying under the radar. If we ever go to 100% tariff, then I suspect we will face not only additional costs, but longer delays. I also suspect our tea will be tied up in customs until we, the consumer, pays the duty, and I have no idea how that would work.
They dont have nearly the manpower to check every package, not by a long shot.
So im guessing it will mean very little if you are buying directly from china, but this might have an effect on distributors who are ordering in large enough quantites for it to be worth checking.
Well, they could just have a standard fixed fee for importing parcels though. That’s for example what is done in Sweden not too long ago:
That would likely require congress which is very very unlikely. Im not 100% sure of this, but that would likely move it from a tariff to a tax, which only congress could do.
Actually Im fairly sure this would require writing new law, it could be done, but would take an act of congress, not an executive order, and it would be tied up in court for years and years, on the legality, giving everyone ample time to stock out their tea collections.
So those of us buying directly from China-based vendors might not notice it at all, while those buying from domestic retailers like Adagio or Teavana probably will? It doesn’t even sound like there would be much of a shakeup due to a competitive advantage gained by non-China-based vendors of Chinese tea like Essence of Tea (shipping from Malaysia, from what I recall).
Actually just a fraction of the artisan teas from China are exported abroad. Only the bulk tea producers might be hit as there’s a lot of alternatives from other countries.