Fill me in: Summer essentials more expensive than ever? One contributing factor is the record level of tariffs, which is just another word for a tax, being imposed by the federal government on thousands of items Americans buy every year, including summertime staples*:
- Swimming pools and wading pools – 7.5% Tax
- Fishing reels, rods, and hooks – 7.5% Tax
- Bicycles – 25% Tax
- Baseball and softball gloves – 25% Tax
- Sunscreen – 25% Tax
- Tennis and badminton rackets – 7.5% Tax
- Grills and grill utensils – 7.5%
- Swimwear – 7.5% Tax
- Beach Toys – 7.5%
- Coolers – 25% Tax
- Tents and camping equipment – 7.5% Tax
- Garden hose – 7.5% Tax
- Sandals – 7.5% Tax
- Umbrella – 7.5% Tax
- Beach Towel – 7.5% Tax
- Picnic Plates, Cups and Utensils – 7.5% Tax
- Kites – 7.5% Tax
- Raincoats/ponchos – 25% Tax
- Fireworks – 7.5% Tax
- Sunglasses – 7.5% Tax
By the numbers:
- $400 billion: The U.S. hiked tariffs on nearly $400 billion of imported goods in 2018-2019, and nearly all of them are still in place.
- $1,200: The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that these tariffs cost the average American household more than $1,200 in 2020 alone.
A Good Question: “Why do we have tariffs on bicycles or apparel or underwear?” Daleep Singh, the White House’s deputy national security adviser, asked at an event hosted by the Bretton Woods Committee last month. For product categories that lack a strategic or national security angle, “there’s not much of a case for those tariffs being in place,” he said.
The Good News: With the stroke of a pen, President Biden could eliminate these taxes on our summer fun.
Bottom line: As inflation continues to chip away at the buying power of American families, lowering or eliminating tariffs on many products will give Americans and businesses more financial flexibility going into the summer months.