Donald Trump had been practicing the art of negotiation in the ongoing trade wars between the United States and other countries. China is one of the largest producers of flooring products which are purchased by American consumers. China has been hitting our USA-made goods when imported into China. Trump has threatened to return the mistreatment against China. The impact, however, on flooring is that a 25% tariff might be imposed. The impact will be especially felt on luxury vinyl (LVF, LVT, LVP, and EVP). "Outside experts estimate that approximately 75% of LVT sold in the US is imported and that 83% of that total is from China. For the subset of rigid LVT, the dependence on Chinese manufacturing is even higher," according to Shaw.
Wolfe Flooring has received notices from Shaw, Mohawk, and several other manufacturers and distributors. There is also developing an escalation in the cost of raw materials, manufacturing, and transportation which is not directly related to international trade. Wolfe Flooring, like all other flooring companies, will have to absorb the rate increases into our pricing. However, we expect that, even with a tariff (if imposed), luxury vinyl will remain a flooring product of great value for the price.
On 18 September 2018, we received an update from Shaw stating, “We regret to share the news of the government’s imposition of tariffs on hard surface flooring manufactured in China. As we recently testified before the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) – and notified you on September 5 – Shaw has no other choice but to pass this tariff along to you, our valued customers…. Note that per the publication from the USTR, starting January 1, 2019, the tariffs will increase from 10 percent to 25 percent.”