Vapers are the latest victims of the escalating China Trade War. On Wednesday, August 1st President Trump ordered new tariffs on Chinese goods doubled from 10% to 25%. This increase affects $16 billion worth of Chinese imports, which include vaping products.
Vaping devices were not included in the first round of products hit with 25% tariffs on July 6th. When Trump announced those duties, China hit back. The administration then proposed a new 10% hike on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. Last Wednesday that figure rose to 25%. The new duties are set to take effect in one month.
Higher-tariffs on Chinese-made vaping units means higher prices for American consumers and businesses. 91% of e-cigs imported into the United States come from China.
“Yes, it will hurt consumers, yes, it will hurt the industry,” said Tony Abboud, President of the Vapor Technology Association.
These new import duties are the latest threat to the growth of the e-cig market. Last April, the FDA came down hard on vape retailers caught selling to minors. One bright spot has been that the FDA has pushed back the deadline for regulating e-cigarettes to 2022. E-cigarettes have made significant gains in the last two years. Sales have gone up from 32 in 2017, to 68% from June of last year. If the proposal goes through, vapers will start to see higher prices at their local vape shops.
What is the essence of this tariff?
It is targeted at helping the American industry according to President Trump. There are huge impacts in trade wars and rarely do we have winners. Instead, the results may end up being more tragic and painful.
We are not in a trade war with China, that war was lost many years ago by the foolish, or incompetent, people who represented the U.S. Now we have a Trade Deficit of $500 Billion a year, with Intellectual Property Theft of another $300 Billion. We cannot let this continue!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 4 april 2018 г.
The vaping industry has plans to oppose the new tariffs. Vaping advocacy groups plan to lobby the Office of the US Trade Representative. They want to show how the new tariffs will not punish China, only American e-cig users, and retailers.