Tool Prices on Rise with Tariffs, 25% More Coming

Tool Tariffs

*** We are not trying to be political here and we are not economists, life your life, vote for who you want, but there will be some price increases coming to pretty much all tools and accessories in the very near future so wanted to give everyone a heads up!!! How high will prices go?? How long will they stay?? Here’s what we know:  

With the first two rounds of Tariffs totaling about $50 Billion we’ve already seen a lot of sporadic price increases from 3%-10% on many products. Not all in the way you’d expect, domestically made fasteners for instance have jumped dramatically while import fasteners have remained somewhat flat. Cordless Tools for the most part have not been hit with tariffs yet however some components such as laser diodes have seen jumps as much as 20%+. In the recent Industrial Distribution article it would seem the next round of $200 Billion in Tariffs is about to hit (January 2019) which will certainly cover a lot more power tools, hand tools and fasteners hitting those products pretty hard. As we saw with some of the first rounds of tariffs these price increases could go into affect before the Tariffs actually hit, so if you’re think this is just a bargaining strategy it might not actually matter.

From what we’ve seen so far the tariffs have impacted US manufacturing some positively and some negatively, seemingly a wash at this point. The argument being made for the next round of $200 Billion is that at least it’ll make it more even across the board, so imported finished products aren’t undercutting raw materials, closing US plants. A logical argument for tariffs would seem to start with a lower % tariff across the board which could gradually increase over months and years if trade deals doesn’t improve, but that’s not where we are.

The immediate result from tariffs on a single country having a 25% price jump is not necessarily going to be a race to move production back to the USA unfortunately. It’s far more likely it’ll be a game of global whack-a-mole where Chinese factories will just move to Malaysia or India or another country that has a low tariff but still cheap labor. Raw materials, like steel and aluminum, have high tariffs which also drives up the price of domestic materials as well so either way we are seeing items like Jobox Storage Boxes made in the USA still forced to have price increases.

What this likely means for your upcoming purchase of tools, accessories and fasteners is that they’ll be more expensive in 2019 (or sooner), sadly even if made in USA. What we hate about this is it hurts the people that need to buy tools and supplies to do their jobs and that money goes to pay a government sales tax as a Tariff. While large corporations that shipped jobs overseas in the first place enjoy record tax cuts, new 25% taxes are imposed on hard working middle-class tradesmen, just leaves a bad taste in our mouth.

Hopefully they can come to some sort of agreement and avoid a big tariff, prices will certainly go up either way and may stay there for some time. If you are considering tooling up check out Ohio Power Tool – Top Deals, do it as soon as possible, lots of December 1 and January 1 price increases have already been announced which are happening before we know about the next round of $200B tariffs which could drive prices even higher.

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