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From lobsters to basketball: 9 products hit by Trump's tariffs

US industries feel impact of Trump's tariffs

The Trump administration is considering more tariffs on imports from China, as well as on foreign-made cars and auto parts. But while officials consider those new duties, Americans and U.S. businesses are already feeling the impact of earlier tariffs, such as those enacted this spring on imported steel and aluminum.

"Scattered across the economy, there's evidence that the tariffs the U.S. has imposed and the retaliatory tariffs imposed by China and others are biting," wrote David Wessel, senior fellow at Brookings, in a recent blog post

Here are some of the products already impacted by tariffs or counter-tariffs, as reported across the country by local and national news outlets.


In New England, prices for whole lobsters fell last month to a low around $3.80 a pound down from about $5 two weeks before China's retaliatory tariffs were implemented, according to the Boston Globe. The import duties on American-caught lobsters sold in China have caused Chinese restaurants and other buyers to look elsewhere for their lobster purchases. That's led to a glut of lobsters in the U.S., pushing down the per-pound price. A traditional lobster meal includes a 1.25 pound crustacean.

In the Florida Keys, lobster prices were dropping in July, according to CBS Miami. Higher metal costs also may also push lobster trap component prices higher, the Globe reported

Mardi Gras beads

Mardi Gras celebrants next spring can expect to pay a little more for beads and other accessories imported from China, reported.

"It has affected us," said Stephen Toomey, owner of Mobile, Alabama's leading Mardi Gras supply store, Toomey's, told "But I'll roll with it for the good of the country. It's our fiduciary responsibility to reduce the deficit."  


Cranberries, produced mostly Massachusetts, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Washington and Oregon, are also dropping in price because of retaliatory tariffs from the EU, Canada, China and Mexico, according to The Wall Street Journal. The average price slipped below $30 a barrel, or $5 below the cost of production, the paper said.

Before the tariffs kicked in, the industry had anticipated those countries would deliver growth, Brian Wick, executive director of the Cape Cod Cranberry Growers' Association, told The Journal.

Sports equipment 

The steel and aluminum tariffs are driving up costs for makers of specialized metal products that find their way into everyday equipment, like basketball hoops and goal posts, the Day of Connecticut reported

"We've been getting monthly price increases from our vendors," Mary Fitzgerald, president of custom metal fabricator Acme Wire, told the Day last month.

Tool boxes and gun vaults

In the Chicago suburbs, gun vault and safe maker Stack-On Products is planning to cut 128 workers in suburban Wauconda and another 25 at a nearby McHenry plant when both facilities close Oct. 12, the Tribune reported. The company plans to move its manufacturing to Mexico, in part to avoid the Trump administration's tariffs on metal imported from China.

Tents for parties and weddings

American Tent & Sidewall, a Wisconsin business that uses Canadian aluminum and Chinese polyvinyl chloride (known as PVC), tariffs on both materials may dampen growth. That's because U.S.-made vinyl is more expensive, and relying on it would force the company to raise its prices.

"I can absorb the tariff and take a huge hit to my bottom line. Or I can raise prices a small amount and absorb the rest of the tariff," owner Tony Ehrbar told the Green Bay Press Gazette. "I may have to pull back on hiring staff or not grow as fast. The money's just up in smoke."

Fire trucks and municipal equipment

In Rome, Georgia, tariffs may increase the price of fire trucks, the NorthWest Georgia News reported in July.  Rome Floyd County Fire Chief Troy Brock said the cost of the $912,228 truck was slated to rise at least 3 percent. He's asking to lock in the price to save more than $27,000, the paper said.

Local newspapers

Newspapers are also suffering from tariffs on Canadian newsprint, the New York Times reported. American newsprint prices are projected to rise more than 30 percent in the next one to two years, adding about $500 million in costs, the Times reported, citing a study done for printers, publishers and paper suppliers.


Certain yachts and boats now face retaliatory tariffs of 10 percent from Canada, 15 percent in Mexico and 25 percent in the EU. The three markets represent 69 percent of the U.S. export markets, the Associated Press reported, citing the National Marine Manufacturers Association.

Mercury Marine, based in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, is the last U.S.-based maker of four-stroke outboard engines, which are 40 to 60 horsepower engines it manufactures in China. Trump's 25 percent tariff on the engines may boost the price of a small recreational boat by about $2,000, CEO John Pfeifer testified at a recent hearing. 

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