Trade Battle Hitting Cleaners in the Wallet

Tariffs on Chinese cleaning products set to rise 15%

May 13, 2019

Facility managers and BSCs may be noticing higher prices on cleaning goods and equipment from China within the next few weeks after tariffs increased from 10% to 25% last Friday when U.S. and Chinese negotiators failed to reach an agreement by the deadline, the Los Angeles Times reports.

U.S. President Donald Trump set the increase in motion even after negotiators began more talks Friday morning in an attempt to end a dispute that has disrupted billions of dollars in trade and impacted global financial markets.

The higher tariffs would apply to products that left China for the U.S. on or after 12:01 a.m. Eastern time Friday. Container ships from China typically take two to three weeks to reach the West Coast. Analysts say the prospects for reaching a deal within that time frame do not look optimistic.

The 10% tariff was set in September 2018 and was originally scheduled to increase to 25 % at the end of that year.

John Nothdurft, director of government affairs for ISSA, released the following statement regarding President Trump placing 25% tariffs on US$200 billion worth of imports from China as of May 10:

"ISSA supports a comprehensive trade deal that addresses the unfair trade practices of China, protects intellectual property, eliminates tariffs, and provides a level-playing field that the U.S. and China can mutually benefit from. The longer this trade war continues without resolution, the worse it is for businesses and consumers in both countries.

It is imperative the U.S. and Chinese governments come to a comprehensive agreement soon that puts an end to this trade war. American businesses and consumers are bearing the brunt of the burden from these tariffs. Our member companies represent the entire supply-chain of the cleaning industry and experience firsthand the negative impact these tariffs have on businesses throughout the industry as well as to their consumers.

These tariffs, if continued, could increase costs throughout the supply chain, making cleaning and sanitizing facilities such as hospitals, schools, and offices more expensive and thus compromising the ability of many facilities to maintain safe and sanitary conditions."

ISSA continues to monitor and weigh in on tariffs and other trade issues affecting our members. For additional information, or questions regarding tariffs, other legal issues, or ISSA’s advocacy efforts, please contact ISSA Director of Government Affairs John Nothdurft at


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