American pet owners may soon feel the deepening of the trade war with China.
Earlier this month, President Donald Trump imposed a 25% tariff on Chinese goods worth $ 200 billion. And the Chinese Ministry of Finance reacted by applying a tariff on $ 60 billion worth of US goods, starting in June.
These taxes add to the existing tariffs that China and the United States imposed on steel, aluminum and agricultural products, such as soybeans.
Now, things like pet foods and goldfish – which are currently available for as little as $ 1 – may soon be more expensive, as they are frequently imported directly from China by animal suppliers. of company.
The sale of food and pet treats in the United States has reached more than $ 30 billion by 2018, with almost two-thirds of US households having a dog or cat, according to the Washington-based Pet Food Institute.
"In the short term, we will have to tackle this problem," said Joe Hiduke, sales manager at Plant City, Florida, at 5D Tropical Inc., which imports thousands of exotic fish species from China. "We will eventually have to sit down and chat with the major pet store chains and tell them," Hey, we can not supply what you usually buy from us at the price you we paid before. "
And while pet owners buy US-made pet food, they may still be hit in the wallet because most of the ingredients needed to create popular pet food brands are imported from China.
"Pet food manufacturers have a decision to make," said Mike Tabor, vice president of regulatory and international affairs for the Pet Food Institute. "They have to decide whether to pass on the cost of these increases to the consumer or simply to absorb them."