The warehousing industry has just emerged from a year fraught with pandemic, social unrest, political passion and economic worries. We definitely saw some gains from the shift to more online fulfillment and we were able to keep the supply chains moving throughout the year. This year promises much of the same, but it looks like we will also face the continued challenge of high tariffs. The good news is the tariff isn’t getting any worse. It remains at the absurdly high rate of 25 percent that has been around since President Trump levied it on steel and aluminum goods from China. We’re not seeing any relief from the new Administration.
Maybe our ancestors had it right when they threw tea into the Boston harbor in protest of England’s levying of tariffs. Maybe we should throw a shipment or two of steel or aluminum into the Baltimore Harbor in protest. The Boston Tea Party participants were more concerned with the actual concept of the tariff, as opposed to its rate. But it set a precedent with taxing imported goods that we are still struggling with today.
These unreasonably high tariffs make it harder for people in this country to keep their businesses running. They have a domino effect throughout the supply chain. They are affecting shipment timing, retail pricing and business bottom lines. The U.S. needs to ease up on tariffs that hurt our economy even more than the intended recipient’s economy.
The U.S. is so indebted to China, but that country has repeatedly proven that it is able to supply what we need in terms of resources and reliability at a much lower cost than buying domestic. Many of our customers can’t afford to pay for racking systems sourced in the U.S., yet they still need these systems to do business. Outrageous taxes to prevent us from importing is not the answer. A reasonable tariff would help our economy and our businesses to get back on track. As it is, this tariff trap looks like it will have its jaws tightly shut for the upcoming year. If you find a harbor full of steel or aluminum, call us so we can dredge it out and call it a “Steel Party.”