July 6th marks the first round of tariffs on Chinese imports, which includes most vaping products
Vapers today are increasingly used to new taxes imposed on their favorite harm reduction habit. It seems like every other week overzealous legislators are considering an additional fee for individuals merely looking to improve their health by getting off cigarettes. Unfortunately, a new nationwide import tax is right on the horizon for American vapers, as this Friday, July 6th, marks the start of the latest leg of President Trump’s trade war with China. While the end result of the dispute could ultimately be fruitful for the country at large, the bottom line is vaping products will be one of the first consumer goods facing the hefty 25% import tax. So while the tax is technically placed on businesses trading with China directly, these extra costs will most likely be passed onto us as wholesale costs become much more expensive.
Trade War With China
To truly understand how the vaping industry will be affected by the impending trade war with China, you first have to know how we got here. As a part of his campaign promise to make international trade fair for America again, President Trump has been investigating steel imports from China since at least April of 2017. He repeatedly threatened to increase trade pressure via tariffs if things didn’t improve. Everything remained relatively quiet until the first few months of 2018, when the Trump administration announced they’d be placing a 30% tariff on solar panels in January, followed by a 25% tariff on steel and 10% tariff on aluminum in March.
It was at this point China announced their first official counter tariff, a 25% tax on eight products such as aluminum and pork, as well as an additional 15% tariff on over 120 other products, including fruit, nuts, and even wine. This began a tit-for-tat back and forth of increasing taxes that saw each country add around $50 billion to the stakes each time. This culminated with the latest tariff on around $34 billion worth of Chinese goods, including vaping products, that’s set to begin this Friday, July 6th.
What It Means For Vaping
According to a recent report by Reuters, only 1% of the 1,102 products targeted by this latest round of tariffs are technically “consumer goods.” Unfortunately, a significant portion of that 1% is made up of vaping products like mods and atomizers, meaning the 25% tariff will hit over $300 million worth of vaping devices. Making matters worse, China enjoys near-total dominance of the high-end vaporizer market. Making it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to get what you’re looking for without using Chinese products.
As the cost of vaping jumps 25%, it’ll likely have several adverse effects on the community. For instance, as the cost of business increases for manufacturers, the availability of devices will only decrease, which will, in turn, drive the price up even more. Furthermore, the health consequences could be dire. For many vapers, the cost savings and availability are precisely what helped them quit smoking with vaping in the first place. If either, or both, of these, are taken away, countless individuals may end up picking cigarettes back up. Ultimately, this could be the most significant impact the new tariffs will have on the vaping industry.
It remains to be seen what will come of this trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies. President Trump is steadfast in his insistence that America will be better off thanks to his moves. If we end up coming out on top, it could even mean potentially lower prices. But for now, it seems we’ll take the brunt of the punishment from these new tariffs. The most important thing is that we continue to support vaping as the extremely powerful harm reduction and smoking cessation aids they are. Something much more important than any trade dispute is the impact vaping has had on the health and well-being of countless former smokers. It’s crucial we don’t let ourselves or our loved ones get hooked back on cigarettes simply due to an increased price. Together we can weather this storm and come out on top.
How do you feel about vaping products being included in the first round of new tariffs? Do you think an increased price will negatively affect the vaping industry? How can we best continue to support vaping despite the increased costs? Let us know what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to check back here or join our Facebook and Twitter communities for more news and articles.