Retail Imports Settling Down After Year of Tariff Surges

January 15, 2020

After a year of fluctuations driven by the uncertainty of the trade war with China, volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to return to its usual seasonal patterns during the first few months of 2020, according to the Global Port Tracker report released on Jan. 10 by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“We’ll be more confident after we see the Phase One agreement signed, but right now 2020 looks like it should be back to what used to be normal,” NRF vice president for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said

. “We’ve been through a cycle of imports surging ahead of expected tariff increases – some of which got delayed, reduced or canceled – and falling off again afterward. That’s not good for retailers trying to manage their inventory levels or trying to make long-term business plans. And tariffs are never good for consumers, businesses or the economy.”

“It is not surprising that even the Federal Reserve suggests that the impact of the trade war has a negative impact on the U.S. economy,” Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett said, citing recent government data on declines in industrial production and increases in inventory-to-sales ratios. “This combination of reduced output counterbalanced by increased inventory underlies the uncertainties of the tariff wars.”

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Source: MH&L News