Pet Industry in USA to suffer losses post Trade War

Pet Industry, Pet Care, NewsOnPets

The American-Chinese war began in 2017. This war has been recorded as ‘the largest trade war in economic history’. Products such as chemicals, coal and medical equipment made in the US districts were targeted by the Chinese government. In defence, the USA has doubled the taxes on $200bn worth of Chinese products, including pet food and treats.

Many items tariffed are those that go into pet-care products. This has led to a rise in cost for pet owners.

Burden on Pet Food Industry

According to the 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association, ‘68% of U.S. households, or about 85 million families, own a pet’. Pet food and goods imported from the Chinese market were available for the cost of $1 previously in the USA. However, post the war, the prices doubled due to heavy tariffs imposed on them.  As an alternative, if US pet owners consumed pet food manufactured from the US districts, the prices would be the same as the ingredients necessary to manufacture and prepare the pet food among the US brands would be imported from China.

“Pet food makers have a decision to make. They have to decide whether to pass on the cost of these hikes to the consumer or to simply absorb them”, Mike Tabor, vice president of regulatory and international affairs for the Pet Food Institute told ABC news

“In 2018, the sale of pet foods and treats in the USA reached more than $30 billion”, reports ABC news. “In the short term, we’ll have to bite the bullet on this. We’ll eventually have to sit down and talk with the major pet store chains and say, “Hey, we can no longer supply what you’re used to buying from us at the price you used to pay us””, Joe Hiduke, a sales manager in Plant City, Florida at 5D Tropical Inc. told ABC news.

Other Pet products

Apart from the pet food and treats, other pet products like pet accessories and clothing too had to bear the price of the US-China trade war. ‘PetRageous Designs’ is a 15-year-old company in Wilmington, USA that sells pet toys, clothing and accessories. The imposition of 25% higher tariffs on online products led to greater losses.  In order to stay profitable the only way out was to pass on the costs to consumers, reports Washington Post.

“There is only one way to save my business, by raising the price of dog sweaters. This is penalizing people who have no alternative and ultimately, it will punish the customer. The president says he’s trying to punish the enemy, but we’re not the enemy. We make raincoats for dogs”,   Charlie George, co-founder of PetRageous Designs.


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