Trump tariff war with China sends US retailers on buying binge

Concerns about the tariff war between the U.S. and China has retailers hoarding inventory.

Retailers are warehousing Chinese imports of all kinds - microwaves, vacuum cleaner filters, swimwear, furniture, according to Amy Magnus, who heads the National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America.

Magnus is one of over a dozen customs brokers, retailers, vendors, analysts and supply chain experts who told Reuters that retailers have been stockpiling inventory from China to avoid higher tariffs that may kick in next year.

The National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates have reported that imports at major U.S. retail container ports surged 13.6 percent to a record 2.04 million containers in October.

That helped push the U.S. trade deficit with China to a record high.

Stores including Walmart, Target, TJX Companies and Macy's raced to buy Chinese products in September, according to Reuters.

That was when the Trump Administration announced 25 percent tariffs would go into effect on Jan. 1 on $200 billion of Chinese imports.

The U.S. and China have since agreed to a 90-day trade war truce until March 2, but supply chain firms and vendors said this has not slowed buying or forward orders because the tariffs could still be hiked.