Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Opens a New Window, Stated he’s spoken with Walmart CFO Brett Biggs regarding another round of tariffs on Chinese products.
Mnuchin told the House Financial Services Committee Wednesday that he’s been “monitoring the situation [tariffs] very carefully” and talked with Biggs about what things they can and cannot source, as FoxBusiness reports.
“We haven’t made any decision yet…” Mnuchin said. “We will be sensitive to consumer items that particularly affect people on fixed salaries.”
The trade war between the world’s two largest economies has also had a softened effect on U.S. consumer prices, with extension running beneath the Federal Reserve’s goal. However, retailers have been warning the recent escalation in the tariff conflict will induce them to pass on the cost to consumers, an outcome that exhibits risks for Trump because he attempts re-election next calendar year.
“We are viewed as an important bellwether for the economy, so it’s not uncommon for us to have conversations with administration officials,” a representative for Walmart said Wednesday.
Finally, in Crosshairs of Trump’s Tariffs, Retailers Sound Alarm, Walmart is not the only company sounding the alarm. Home Depot Inc. estimated last Tuesday the reach to merchandise costs could be $1 billion annually. Department-store chain Kohl’s Corp. partially blamed an 11 percent cut to its profit perspective on the U.S.’s recent move to raise tariffs on Chinese products.
Walmart declined to comment on what sort of price lifts shoppers could anticipate and which goods would get the most significant increase.
The retail giant announced the program days after the Trump administration increased tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25 percent from 10 percent. The decisions, which came following trade talks between the two sides fell apart, is expected to lead to higher costs on everything from clothing and footwear to electronic equipment.