So far, the Trump administration has placed no new duties on retail items such as apparel and electronics — something market watchers have awaited in fear.
“China [is] still a huge manufacturer for apparel and shoes,” Quinn pointed out. “Inevitably, if that’s going to be a long-term addition to costs, it’s going to show up in consumer prices.”
Still, the market rallied Monday with all three indices closing positive and fears of trade wars waning.
While the outcome of the tariffs is still unclear, Quinn said U.S. consumers have benefited from the long-standing trade agreements with China and the multitude of products imported at reduced prices.
“We haven’t played real hardball yet with the trade violations in China,” he said. “If this is an opening gambit to address those things, then it could be a very positive outcome. But it’s not clear — at least not to me — that there is an overall strategy to addressing the real trade conflict.”