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  • Rhonda Chen

Will New Tariffs Effect Interior Designers?

In short, the answer is YES!

For any interior design project to be successful, interior designers need to specify and/or purchase products on behalf of their clients that are a part of their designs. These products include furniture, fabrics, lighting fixtures, tile, carpet, plumbing fixtures, appliances, equipment and much more.

You could also say that in addition to being a service based business, the interior design industry is also a product based business. Interior Designers specify and/or sell many, many products as part of their design solutions. Most of these products are fabricated or produced using various products and raw materials that come from China. These products have made it possible for less expensive and mass production of furniture products.

In addition to being a part of the interior design process, ordering products is a very important aspect in an interior designers livelihood. Although, working with an interior designer helps clients get the best access to furniture, furnishings, and equipment, and designers make every effort to keep costs down for their clients, it becomes more difficult to sell their products and designs when prices go up. Prices normally increase every year on products, however, with new tariffs being implemented of up to 25%, this may have a negative impact on the interior design industry.

Here's an example of one of the recent letters from a lighting manufacturer we received recently indicating how any new tariffs will have an effect on pricing in the interior design industry.

"Dear Customer, By now I'm sure you're aware, the United States has scheduled import tariffs to be imposed on a variety of lighting products from China. At the moment, there is a great deal of uncertainty around how much the tariff will be. You may have already heard numbers from 10% to 25%, but we are not quite sure where the final numbers will land. The tariff is currently scheduled to impact any listed products (Sect01 Product List Fact Sheet) that are imported into the USA after October 1, 2018. If the tariffs go into effect as scheduled, we will unfortunately be forced to raise prices proportionate to the imposed duties by early October. Of course, if the tariffs do not go into effect, there will be no tariff-related price increase. As you can imagine, this is a complex and developing situation that we're monitoring closely. We will most certainly keep you posted with more specific details as we learn further in the coming days and weeks. We sincerely appreciate your business and are confident we will be able to work together through these challenging issues. As a valued partner, I want to thank you once again for your continued support. Sincerely,"

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