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One of my goals with this blog is to provide value to those that read it…and make sure we, as a company, help to keep you informed. Whether we show the latest promotional merchandise, or keep you up to date on trends, we want to help you in your marketing and branded merchandise efforts. That’s why I want to talk about Tariff’s today. Wait! Don’t click away or fall asleep! I will keep it brief! As I mentioned in this recent blog, at the PPAI Expo (the largest promotional trade show in our industry) Tariffs were the talk of the show. Everyone is talking about them, worrying about them, and asking questions about them. Why? Because when it comes to branded merchandise, a huge percentage of the items that are sold in the industry are imported from China. This is such a concern that there are suppliers in our industry that have printed their entire catalog without putting in pricing! Why? Even those that have included pricing have included less information or large disclaimers saying that “pricing could change.” So what does that mean to you? It means, quite simply, if you use branded merchandise, your budget very likely could be affected. This is not a threat or a political statement. It’s just a fact. If the tariffs continue, the price of your promotional material will go up. So what can you do? There are a couple of things I am recommending. 1. Begin to adjust expectations. As you move into 2019, just understand that the pricing for promotional items are in flux. If there are items that you order regularly, you might want to stock up a bit or check in on pricing. 2. Consider domestic options. Though I do not expect to see American manufacturers of promotional items start popping up everywhere, I do expect an uptick for those that already are here. When you are creating a marketing plan, make sure to include something made in North America. This is not the end of the world and the sky is not falling. I just wanted to spend a few moments to put this trend on your radar. If you have more questions, please feel free to reach out to us and we can discuss it! Make sure you never miss an update! Sign up to become a VIP here.