Here we are again. It seems like only yesterday - because it really was only six weeks ago - that we were talking about Tariffs, Trade Wars, and You, but here we are not two months later, with yet more alarming news.
On September 17, 2018, President Trump released a statement directing the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to place tariffs on another $200 billion in Chinese imports. Citing "a grave threat to the long-term health and prosperity of the United States economy", the President set tariffs on a wide variety of consumer goods and raw materials. Additionally, he made it clear that if China levies increased tariffs of their own, as they are expected to do, the United States would retaliate with a third round of tariffs, targeting another $267 billion in imports.
We're not partisan here. In the offices of Mister-E-Liquid we number many liberals, many conservatives, a heavy load of moderates, and at least a few people whose political views can best be described as "apathetic". So we're not here to complain about President Trump, or point fingers at China: we're here to look at what affect these tariffs, and this burgeoning trade war, will likely have on the thing we are here for: vaping.
On June 15, the United States levied a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion in Chinese goods, including starter kits and internal battery mods. China retaliated by levying increased tariffs on US goods. On September 17, the US announced it will levy an eventual 25 percent increase on $200 billion in Chinese goods.
China is expected by analysts to retaliate with increased tariffs, and indeed, after the announcement of the latest round of US tariffs, the Chinese government immediately declared its intention to impose tariffs on $60 billion in US exports. This would, as we've noted, trigger another round of tariffs on Chinese goods, leading to an devastating feedback loop, a downward spiral, a game of chicken with our economy with dubious chances for success for either party.
91 percent of vaping equipment is made in China, and it will be years before manufacturing bases can be spooled up in other countries to take up the slack. (Trust us, if we could reasonably buy all US-made vaping equipment, we'd do it in a heartbeat!) The latest round of tariffs goes far beyond starter kits and internal battery mods. At stake now are vape batteries, vaping battery chargers, resistance wire, replacement tank glass, replacement vape coils, and even drip tips and battery cases. Worse, box mods are included in the new tariffs, as well, as are tanks themselves. Where does this end? This is basically all vape hardware, across the board.
As before, we can't absorb the entire cost of the tariffs, but we're dedicated to not making you absorb it, either. As a result, we're making only the most minimal possible price increases, just enough to cover the increased cost from our suppliers, and no more. We're not going to make a profit on this emerging trade war.
But just to be clear: there will be NO price increases on e-liquid at this time! All of our vape juice is made right here in the good old US of A, and is not subject to Chinese import tariffs. So, a silver lining to what it otherwise a very dark cloud. While some of our indirect costs have increased - such as the cost of our bottles - we're dedicated to not passing those costs on to you. (We know why you're really here!)
As we have from the beginning, Mister-E-Liquid will continue to lead the fight in Washington, through our lobbying and support for trade organizations like AEMSA and SFATA. We will fight not only against burdensome and unnecessary regulation by the FDA (while supporting helpful, commonsense safety regulations), but also against unfair trade practices that discourage vapers, that make it more difficult for new vapers to start, and more expensive for existing vapers to continue.
But we can't do it alone. We need your help. Contact your Representative, and tell them how you view this latest round of tariffs - and what you think about the FDA, while you're at it. Contact your Senator, and let them know you need them to speak for you in Washington. Get out and vote for vape-friendly candidates. And make your voice heard on social media: tell your story to the world! Our hobby, our pastime, our lifestyle is being threatened, and we cannot - we will not - remain silent or unheard. Speak up, and speak out!