Birth control pills, lawnmowers and flat-panel televisions are among a long list of goods that could get more expensive after President Donald Trump slaps 25 percent tariffs on a list of Chinese imports.
The final list of items facing penalties is due out Friday, and a wide range of U.S. consumer favorites is likely to be on it, despite a scramble by many affected businesses to get their items removed – or to get competitors’ products on.
The intense activity was on display during three days of hearings in late May, when the Trump administration heard testimony from more 100 witnesses. Many predicted higher prices and shortages of everything from pharmaceuticals to snow blowers.
Prasad Pinnamaraju, chief operating officer of Novast Laboratories, a U.S. subsidiary of Chinese pharmaceutical company Novast Holdings, said women could have trouble getting birth control pills, which were on a preliminary target list Trump released in April. Pinnamaraju’s company supplies about 10 to 20 percent of the U.S. market, he said.
“Given our market share and the heavily regulated nature of suppliers to the market, there is a high risk of a shortage of supply, at least for some period of time,” Pinnamaraju said. “This means, at some point, a woman will go into her pharmacy and not be able to obtain her birth control medication.”
U.S. trade officials said they went through a multi-step process to ensure any product hit with the tariffs will have a minimal impact on consumers, while hurting Chinese producers in sectors such as information, robotics and biomedicine that Beijing has targeted for world dominance.