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More tariffs could hit Colorado consumers​ hard

COLORADO SPRINGS – The battle rages on in the trade war between the United States and China, and a new round of tariffs implemented this week could impact the wallets of Colorado consumers and businesses.

The Trump administration slapped tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports. China responded with $60 billion on U.S. goods. It’s about 5,000 different goods affected on both ends.

Jeannette Graham said, “We really don’t know in the end what is going to be affected so that gives us a little bit of uncertainty.”

Graham is the owner of Relax The Back, a furniture store in Colorado Springs. She sells office furniture, massage chairs, and recliners from all over the world.

“Even those products that are made here in the U.S., sometimes a part will be made in China and that’s where the uncertainty will happen. We’re not sure what that part will do if that has a tariff on it.”

Graham hasn’t seen any price increases on her products yet, but even so, the latest round of tariffs that was implemented is motivating Graham to take action.

“We’re stocking up on those things that we think might be affected just so we have them and can keep them at the price they are now.”

The goal is to save the business and customers a few bucks.

Furniture isn’t the only good that could impact people’s wallets.

Tatiana Bailey, director of the UCCS Economic Forum, said, “One of the major concerns is agriculture. Commodity prices have already been low…also in the state of Colorado – aluminum.”

With Colorado being a huge microbrewery state, there’s a good chance that cans of beer won’t be so cheap anymore.

Bailey said, “It’s not all going to happen at once, right? It’s going to happen in sort of a staggered effect, but I do have concern about that because we are already seeing rising prices overall.”

Governor Hickenlooper is also weighing in on this trade war.

He and Governor John Kasich sent a letter urging Ambassador Lighthizer and the Trump administration to stop the war.

In their letter they wrote, “Let’s pursue a trade policy that is forward looking and designed to place our workers and our economy in a position to benefit from all the changes the 21st century will bring. We cannot look backward and close off our markets. We must look forward and connect them in ways that benefit both our workers and the next generation.”

It’s not just price increases people have to worry about. Bailey said some Colorado companies have already announced these tariffs will impact thousands of jobs and that they will probably move outside of the U.S. to avoid the tariffs.

If you’d like more in-depth information on the impact of tariffs check out the UCCS Economic Forum on October 4 at the Ent Center.

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Caiti Blase

Caiti Blase

Caiti Blase has worked at KOAA News 5 since August 2017.
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