New tariffs hit some Anchorage businesses causing prices to rise

Published: Sep. 24, 2018 at 9:17 PM AKDT
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Thousands of products imported from China are garnishing a new 10 percent tariff imposed by the United States government Monday. For consumers in Alaska, prices will likely rise on some products while the impact on others may be less clear.

Trek of Anchorage, a local bicycle store, announced on social media that the new tariffs would mean price hikes for certain bikes. The increase was set to take effect Monday morning, but a manager at the store said the increased prices would be rolled out Tuesday morning.

Due to tariff increases, Trek raised the prices yesterday on the Trek Farley 5, 7, and 9.6 fat bikes by $100. The Farley...

Posted by Trek Bicycle Store of Anchorage on Friday, September 21, 2018

Meanwhile, Dave Cavitt, the owner of Sadler's Home Furnishings and other furniture stores across Anchorage, said he wasn't sure what the latest round of tariffs would mean for consumers.

Cavitt said that manfucturers he buys from were talking of a two to three percent rise in prices for retailers, but it would ultimately be up to Cavitt to decide what prices he would set based on what others in the industry did.

Around a third of Sadler's products are from China, but other products have components made in China before being finished in the United States. For those products, Cavitt was even less sure of the new tariff's impact.

Starting on New Year's Day, 2019, the news may get worse for shoppers if the trade war continues, as tariffs on thousands of products imported from China are set to rise to 25 percent.

For the renewable energy industry, tariffs have been in place on solar panels for months. Karl Solberg, the store manager at Renewable Energy Systems Alaska, said that the industry had prepared for the tariffs by buying a huge shipment of supplies before they were first imposed.

Now that supply is running out, meaning prices will likely rise.

Solberg says that the demand for renewable energy will outstrip the rise in prices. He also explained that prices have dropped more for renewables in the past five years than would be spent by the addition of the tariffs.