Delayed tariffs would impact women's clothing more than men's: report

Tariffs on Chinese goods that had been scheduled to go into effect on Sept. 1 have been delayed until Dec. 15.

Women will be even more impacted than men by the tariffs, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. The pending tariffs would include apparel -- imported women’s and girl’s clothing is valued at more-than-twice the value of imported men’s and boy’s clothing.

Certain footwear and clothing items are among the goods, which will be tariffed in December, the U.S. Trade Representative announced.

Despite the delay, women could still face a greater impact than men once the tariffs do go into effect, if retailers pass on the costs to shoppers. The Journal reported that 42 percent of women’s and girl’s clothing imported to the U.S. last year came from China, compared to just 26 percent of men’s and boy’s clothing.

The average household spends about $665 per year on women’s and girls’ apparel and $427 on apparel for men and boys, according to the report.

Of course, not all clothing purchases would be affected by the tariffs. A higher percentage of the $400 billion Americans spent on clothing and footwear last year went to goods made in nations other than China, according to the report.

The tariffs could force retailers to change their supply chains, according to Jonathan Gold of the National Retail Federation. That isn’t a quick thing to do.

“That means American families are ultimately going to pay more for goods they can’t do without,” he said last week.

Women’s clothing already has higher tariffs than men’s clothing as it is. A U.S. International Trade Commission report found that, as of 2015, women’s clothing had average tariffs at 14.9 percent, compared to 12 percent for men’s clothing.

Most of the tariffs put in place on Chinese goods so far in the U.S.-China trade war haven’t been placed on goods sold directly to consumers. The now-delayed round of tariffs would have put added costs on imports of electronics like cellphones, laptops and video game consoles, as well as shoes and clothes.


However, other goods on the $300 billion list of items imported from China will still face new tariffs on Sept. 1, according to the trade representative’s office.