How Tariffs Can Affect Your Wallet

Published on: Jan 15, 2020fb-roundtwitter-roundemail-round

When countries go head-to-head on trade policies, tariffs are the bargaining chip of choice. Because putting special taxes on foreign imports make them cost more. (The idea is that if a country’s exports cost more, consumers won’t buy as much. Then that country loses money.)

Some countries that got tariff'd by the US recently: China, the EU, Brazil, and Argentina. Here’s what that means for your wallet.

You may spend more on big-ticket and everyday items. Many companies eventually pass on their higher cost of goods to customers. Meaning you’re paying more, too. Things that are already more expensive because of existing tariffs: speakers, outdoor furniture, and bedding. Cars, TVs, and wine could be next. Pinot thank you.

The stock market could get bumpy. Trade drama doesn’t usually sit well with investors. The Dow Jones (an index of 30 big US companies many people use to benchmark overall market performance) has already had some pretty rough days in response to trade news. On the bright side, the market’s recovered from every major drop in history. Then continued to go up. If you’re investing for the long term, stay cool and try to block out what happens in the short term.

theSkimm: There’s not much you can do to mitigate the impact of tariffs...aside from comparison-shopping and adjusting your monthly budget to make up the difference. Not fun. But smart.