This could be the last Fourth of July Celebration where fireworks prices won’t be impacting the cost of your celebration.
Proposed tariffs on Chinese imports could affect the way we celebrate the Fourth with visual displays.
Pick up any package of fireworks. Virtually all of them are made in China and if the proposed tariffs on Chinese imports go into effect, you’ll not only pay more for fireworks, but so will cities and towns that use fireworks for shows like the dropping of the Acorn in downtown Raleigh on New Year’s Eve.
President trump proposes tariffs of up to 25 percent on all Chinese products— including fireworks.
This is the latest round in the trade war between the U.S. and China.
The American Pyrotechnics Association says that the associated price increase on fireworks could put the cost of those explosives out of the reach for more than 16,000 municipalities who put on fireworks shows around the country.
The tariffs would also raise consumer prices by about 25 percent too.
Experts say the prices of goods like fireworks are volatile and subject to big price hikes because there aren’t American substitutes.
“A lot of what we import from China is only made in China,” says the Wall Street Journal’s Greg Ip. “American importers can absorb the costs themselves or they can pass the costs onto their customers.”
Fireworks importers say profit margins are so narrow, they’ll have to pass costs on to consumers.
Phantom Fireworks is the country’s largest consumer-based fireworks retailer.
It’s CEO says he’s hoping both the U.S. and China can work things out before prices explode.
“It’s my opinion that they’re going to make a deal,” said Bruce Zoldan. “I’m guessing, but I’m also praying.”
Zoldan says if the United States were to try and develop a fireworks industry on the scale of what the Chinese already have—it would take a decade to get it up to speed production-wise.
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