Tariffs

Trump's Trade War Leaves the Future of the Blue Jean Industry to Hang

The president trade war is harming American small business.

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|||Ludmilafoto/Dreamstime.com
Ludmilafoto/Dreamstime.com

President Trump's trade war has hit an American fashion staple: blue jeans.

Bloomberg has interviewed Victor Lytvinenko of Raleigh Denim Workshop, a blue jeans company based in Greensboro, North Carolina. After Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum went into effect in June, the E.U. responded with a 25 percent tariff on several American goods, including bourbon, corn, and jeans. The European market accounted for $31 million worth of America's jean sales—16 percent of the industry's global exports. Lytvinenko is already losing European customers.

He's not the only one suffering. Roy Slaper—owner of Roy Denim in Oakland, California—tells Bloomberg that the tariffs are "another blow" to an already fading industry. (In California, an increase in the minimum wage has already prompted apparel factories to either close or move elsewhere.)

And the jeans industry is hardly alone. This week U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer revealed plans to impose a 25 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, about half of the country's imports to the United States. That's more than double the previous rate of 10 percent. The proposed list of affected goods includes food, tobacco products, electronics, and even paper.

The National Retail Foundation has just released a statement decrying the proposed tariffs, which is says will "hurt U.S. families and workers more than they will hurt China." It adds: "A broader, long-term strategy is needed that will bring about fair trade without punishing the wrong people. And those people are American workers and their families. They deserve better."

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  1. President Trump’s trade war has hit an American fashion staple: blue jeans.

    It’s about time something actually useful came out of this nonsense.

  2. If women can’t afford blue jeans anymore then they will have to stick to yoga pants. It’s 3 dimensional chess

    1. Where I work, somehow yoga pants count as more formal than denim.

      1. I like your place of business

      2. And flip flops as subs for shoes in professional environments.

        That’s why civilization has fallen.

        No more sense of style.

      3. You work at Walmart?

        1. I’m attempting to examine the arbitrariness of treating denim as an inferior textile, inherently casual, no doubt due to faint memories of a long-obsolete classism. For it’s not that cotton itself is taboo as business attire, nor is it the delicacy of the fabrics, nor the intended function, as yoga pants remain acceptable despite being purposed for the most casual of environments, but only because they are not denim. But what thoughtful person has not looked upon the common necktie and wondered if, to some stranger in time and space, we do not look ridiculous anyway?

  3. Currently, the US economy is worth 19.42 trillion dollars. These tariffs are increasing the tax on foreign goods from $20 billion a year to $50 billion a year. So we are talking about $30 billion in extra taxes. Or to put that into perspective, we are talking about a tax on roughly one percent of the economy.

    We can debate whether that is good or bad. But whatever it is, it is not catastrophic.

    1. In terms of catastrophe, it’s certainly no Obamacare… or vegetable garden.

      1. Obamacare was catastrophic for small businesses

        1. Is it fair to say through Trump’s efforts O’care is less onerous than first enacted?

          1. Not for smaller businesses. It’s still onerous

            1. Trump and Congress have not tackled the mandates that penalize business expansion, while many large companies were exempted from these mandates

              1. It’s almost as if a company was using the government to eliminate it’s competition. But that’s impossible! The government is for the people! The Democrats would never do something so nefarious as to hold the little guys down!

      2. “Victory Garden” you damn commie!

  4. That’s it. From now on, I refuse to wear pants.

  5. The European market accounted for $31 million worth of America’s jean sales?16 percent of the industry’s global exports.

    European champagne socialists hardest hit. Everyone else this side of the pond settles for whatever pants fit (usually of Asian origin).

    1. Disclosure: I don’t really wear denim myself.

      Now, bourbon is another matter. I’ve never been a feinschmecker but have enjoyed Wild Turkey and Four Roses in the past.

  6. Bloomberg has interviewed Victor Lytvinenko of Raleigh Denim Workshop, a blue jeans company based in Greensboro, North Carolina

    Roy Slaper?owner of Roy Denim in Oakland, California?tells Bloomberg

    Shitty, no-name coastal-elite jean manufacturing douchebags whine to Bloomberg about how they can’t sell $31M worth Chinese and European products in the US market because it’s going to cost or be valued at $39M? Obama laid out policies to shrink coal by 50% and left taxpayers on the hook for $2.2B in clean energy. Bloomberg nearly doubled NYC’s debt to $110B. GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE!

    Follow it up with a three-peat of Dalmia idiocy and I’ll start following the real journalism going on glibertarians.com.

    1. Follow it up with a three-peat of Dalmia idiocy and I’ll start following the real journalism going on glibertarians.com.

      Please please please. I swear I’ll donate to Reason if someone makes this happen.

    2. I looked around there the other day. What a bunch of pissy-pants nutcases. The atmosphere reminds me of a rehab spa. No opinions allowed that might cause any slight discomfort.

    3. You should go on glibertarians.com anyways. SugarFree has some hilarious stories up there

      1. http://www.franklycurious.com/wp/2017…..ertarians/

        Plus they got a guy who hates them, so that’s pretty cool. A couple more months and they’re bound to end up on the SPLC “hate watch list”. That’s how you know you’ve hit the big time

    4. Yeah, if only they could be more libertarian like people who defend tariffs because Trump implemented them and something something Obama something something Bloomberg.

      1. I’m not defending the tariffs. Reason effectively retweeting a Bloomberg fluff piece is weak sauce and you know it.

        Victor Lytvinenko or Roy Slaper big in the libertarian community? Anything indicating they aren’t flat out pro-Sanders socialists? Any indication of closing up shop, switching suppliers, or just increasing prices? Any guesses as to how much they would have to raise prices to offset costs?

        Nope, Bloomberg says Trump’s tariffs are bad for the children (not even starving, impoverished, undereducated children) and Reason passes it of as solid libertarian cud for chewing.

        1. Calidissident is a Lefty, so there’s that.

  7. For a deeper understanding of what Trump is doing, the Theory of Comparative Advantage, and how this all relates, read this article from the American Thinker:

    Why is Trump fighting the trade war?

  8. I talked to a guy in the denim business, a big name in the denim business, you’d know him if I said his name, great guy, fantastic businessman, and he said to me, he says, and he has tears in his eyes as he says this, tears just running down his face, and this guy’s a Navy SEAL, big guy, tough guy, had his legs blown off by an IUD in Iraq, so he’s sitting there in his wheelchair and he’s just got tears running down his face and he says “God bless you President Trump for all the great things you’re doing to make America great again, you are truly the greatest American hero”, and I told him he’s a hero, too and I shook his hand and as soon as I touched his hand he got up out of his wheelchair and started walking again, but the Fake News won’t tell you this, they’re too busy with the Russia, Russia, Russia and the collusion and the witch hunt even though I won the greatest election victory in the history of the country and they just have to lie about it and then they call me a liar. So sad!

    1. “had his legs blown off by an IUD in Iraq”

      LOL

      1. “The pill took my shins. Damn, Nazees and their contraceptives”

    2. “they’re too busy with the Russia, Russia, Russia and the collusion”

      This is actually true. It’s probably the only factual thing that the president repeats on a regular basis

      1. K, you’re officially fixated. I’m gonna need to see your birth certificate. Or does Putin supply false documents for his common internet drones?

        Watergate from break-in to resignation was over 2 years. The Whitewater investigation went on for 4 years. That nonsense was matched only by the Benghazi investigation, at another 4 years.

        So what possible fucking reason is there to hurry this one along? Because there’s not nearly as much at stake as a presidential blowjob?

        1. “K, you’re officially fixated.” and “I’m gonna need to see your birth certificate. Or does Putin supply false documents for his common internet drones?”

          Does not compute

          1. I bet it doesn’t.

            You understand that I’m paying you a compliment by calling you a paid troll instead of someone duped by the propaganda spread by paid trolls.

            1. You’re a rather dumb person, Tony. I’ll give you that.

              If you want to insult me, when I never do you, then I will gladly return the favor Trust Fund Tony

              1. Don’t feed me warmed-over Russian horseshit then. The Washington Post isn’t in a conspiracy against you. Russia, as it happens, is.

              2. Tony never has anything supportable to say.

                Its name calling and Lefty narrative all the way down.

        2. “”Watergate from break-in to resignation was over 2 years. The Whitewater investigation went on for 4 years. That nonsense was matched only by the Benghazi investigation, at another 4 years.””

          And what did the 4 year investigations produce?

          1. Egg on Republican faces.

            No, listen you gotta give them the time They did a test run on this thing took them 4 years. Maybe they could push it to 3, but you gotta give them at least 2 years, give them 2 years.

  9. If its a war then the USA should win.

    If only this many articles were done over the last decades about the managed trade that was status quo.

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