Tariffs hurt retailers, HFA member tells NPR

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

Furniture retailers who import products from China will have to pass additional costs to customers, Jim Kittle said in an interview broadcast on NPR’s Morning Edition.

The U.S. raised tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, including furniture, from 10 percent to 25 percent at midnight.

Kittle, chairman of Home Furnishings Association member Kittle’s Furniture in Indianapolis, Ind., said he and his vendors absorbed most of the 10 percent import tax imposed last year, but 25 percent is too much.

“Right now, retailers are at best marginally profitable, and furniture is no different,” he told NPR.

About 30 percent of the furniture Kittle’s sells is made in China, Kittle said, and Chinese-made components also will be affected, adding to the cost of other goods.

There’s another consideration. Tariffs, and retaliatory actions taken by China, hurt other parts of Indiana’s economy, from agriculture to auto manufacturing. Kittle said this will have a secondary effect on people in communities where Kittle’s does business.

“If they don’t have any money even to buy a tractor, they’re not going to buy furniture,” he told NPR.

Another HFA member, Fran O’Brien of The Furniture Market in Modesto, Calif., has been frank with his customers about the cost of import taxes.

He’s “been charging a separate line item for the tariff,” he said this week. “I do educate the people on the facts. China does not pay any tariffs; the last person to buy the product pays all the tariffs. That means you, Mr. and Mrs. Consumer.  I have not had anybody refuse to pay the tariff; they all have heard about them.  And now they know how it affects them.”

HFA belongs to Americans for Free Trade, a large business coalition that opposes tariffs.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Looking to grow your business? Look no further.
Becoming a member of the HFA has more benefits than we can list here. Click the button to learn more.
Trending In

HFA Solution Partners

Gulfstream Shippers Association Logo

Gulfstream Shippers Association is an association that combines the buying power of its members to

Trekstone Financial Logo

Trekstone offers the lowest credit card processing rates and top of the line customer service.

Form Piper Website Logo

We help retailers automate consumer financing! Our software platform integrates with your current lending options,

Gulfstream Shippers Association Logo

Gulfstream Shippers Association is an association that combines the buying power of its members to

Trekstone Financial Logo

Trekstone offers the lowest credit card processing rates and top of the line customer service.

Form Piper Website Logo

We help retailers automate consumer financing! Our software platform integrates with your current lending options,

Kornerstone_Credit_HFA Partner

Kornerstone’s mission is to offer the most affordable, customer-centric, lease-to-own program. Kornerstone offers alternative, no

Secure-Payments_HFA Solution Partner

Secure Payment Systems (SPS), is a unique payment processing and information services company that specializes

Kornerstone_Credit_HFA Partner

Kornerstone’s mission is to offer the most affordable, customer-centric, lease-to-own program. Kornerstone offers alternative, no

Secure-Payments_HFA Solution Partner

Secure Payment Systems (SPS), is a unique payment processing and information services company that specializes

Sign up for more!
From HFA events to the latest member news, get updates straight to your inbox.

Not an HFA member?

Don't miss out on all of our association benefits!