This week President Donald Trump announced $200 billion worth of tariffs that will be effective in August, as part of an escalating trade war with China. The administration unveiled the products affected in a 200-page list that begins with “Edible offal of bovine animals, fresh or chilled” and ends with “Antiques of an age exceeding one hundred years.”
While the overwhelming majority may seem like mundane, retail products that affect the common consumer more than big business, there are many major items to take note of. We’re here to sift through this gargantuan, often incomprehensible list to give you the products most relevant to big business.
Whereas most of the items here require dozens of list products to encompass the extent of items affected, arguably the most important only gets two lines 190 pages into the document: “Semiconductor media, ‘smart cards’ / Semiconductor media, nesoi.” NESOI being a catchall phrase to capture all remaining types of semi-conductor media. Any organizations relying on micro-chips, data storage, memory cards and the like will see an increase in overhead.
Major industries disrupted: IT, Big Data
2) Tools and measuring devices
Unlike the above, this one goes in the category of “products that take pages to enumerate.” Gauges, levels, microscopes, optical appliances—the chances are if it’s a physical object that helps you do things or measure things, then the cost will go up in August.
Major industries disrupted: Life Sciences R&D, Medical Devices, AES, Manufacturing
3) Things that go
From freight ships to farm wagons, from bicycles to tractor trailers, from the smallest part to the whole vehicle, the cost will go up.
Major industries disrupted: Logistics and Transportation, Automotive Manufacturers, Construction, Agriculture, any organization relying on oversea exports
4) Imaging and Audio
Again, the list is extensive: cathode ray technologies, photographic parts, coaxial tubes, sound reproducing technologies. Sufficed to say, without the items on the tariff list, you cannot reproduce an image or a sound.
Major industries disrupted: Telecomm, Media, Healthcare
5) Chemicals and metals
The most elemental building blocks of our world will cost more come August, as well as the catalysts that create all the combinations we rely on in the lab and in the real world.
Major industries disrupted: Manufacturing, R&D
As you can guess, the ramifications of each affected industry stretches far beyond the top-level ones listed. To put it succinctly, the cost of doing business will go up.
For many organizations, this changes the budget of initiatives already underway or already planned. Our next post will discuss how project-based organizations can possibly expect to adapt, not just to this policy, but to the constant broad-sweeping changes to the business environment in general.