U.S. Chamber Staff


October 30, 2018


Flickering candles, cobwebs, people pretending to be D-list celebrities.

Halloween is upon us.

It’s a night where ghosts and ghouls appear to scare unsuspecting souls.

It’s about pumpkins, skeletons, haunted houses, costumes, and – of course – candy.

While Halloween is no longer primarily about scaring friends and family – not when Fortnight characters are the most popular costumes – our current tariff war will spook Americans with higher costs this year.

Michele Biordi, executive director of the Halloween Industry Association writes:

Thanks to the latest round of import taxes that took effect last month, the trade war will be an unwelcome trick-or-treater at the doorsteps of every American celebrating Halloween beginning in 2019.

While agriculture and manufacturing felt the sting in the first waves of tariffs, the most recent round hits where most Americans feel it. The new 25 percent duty means prices will increase virtually overnight for clothes, groceries, furniture – even Halloween decorations.

Tariffs are taxes consumers pay on imported goods, and they’ll pump-kin up costs this Halloween.

Imported plastics bags and baskets to hold a trick-or-treat candy stash – hopefully filled with full-size candy bars – will cost more.

Make-up, fabric, yarn, hats, and costumes for a boo-tiful outfit will be more expensive.

And if you host a Halloween party you will pay more for candles and decorations.

All told, the administration imposed tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese ghouls – I mean goods.

In retaliation, China slapped tariffs on $110 billion worth of U.S. products, frightening U.S. manufacturers and farmers.

What’s scarier is it could get worse. The administration is reportedly considering extending the tariffs to apply to all imports from China.

A fog of fear would settle down on the economy, disrupting manufacturing supply chains that support American businesses and jobs.

Like a vampire with a victim, ongoing back-and-forth on tariffs will drain the life out of our surging economy, costing jobs and hitting families in their wallets as the holiday season approaches.

There’s no bones about it, we must break this curse. “Nobody ever wins in trade wars”: not businesses; not workers; not families.

Sinister tariffs are The Wrong Approach.

Countering China’s unfair trade practices requires a potent witches’ brew of working with other nations, not taxing our own citizens.

Or else the results will be monstrous – all tricks, no treats.

About the authors

U.S. Chamber Staff