SWFL to feel burden of tariffs on home grown goods like oranges, lumber

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The European Union has begun imposing tariffs on more than $3 billion worth of U.S. products like Florida oranges, Kentucky Bourbon and Harley Davidson motorcycles.

But the question now, is how do these tariffs impact SWFL?

The $3.2 billion European Union tax on U.S. goods that went into effect Friday came after the U.S. slapped a $3 billion tax on their products.

“We put tariffs on certain countries and certain industries where it’s been very unfair to the United States,” President Trump said.

Several types of products that almost everyone relies on and purchases regularly could be affected. Products like paper towels, oranges and denim are included in that list, and Mexico’s pork, apples and potatoes will soon follow.

“This is the first time in my lifetime that I’ve seen something like this,” said FGCU economics professor Chris Westley.

Economists believe a family of four will pay at least an additional $500 to buy products affected by these tariffs. But they won’t feel the impact for a few more weeks.

“What’s troubling is that as the trade war expands beyond China to other counties, they’d be fewer substituted that would be available to us,” Westley said.

One item is already affecting the cost of home building in SWFL.

“Increase in home prices nationally is explained in part by the increased price in Canadian lumber. That surely affects our region because home construction is such an important part of our economy,” Westley said.

Some shoppers in SWFL say they’ll deal with the higher prices by cutting back on what they put in their shopping carts.

“I noticed avocados were 99 cents. That’s a good price but if those prices go up, we’d be having guacamole a little less,” said one shopper.

There will be a sales tax holiday for back to school shopping between August 3 and August 5 which will help alleviate some of the burden brought on by rising prices.

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