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US Tariff Hike Could Impact Jewelry Trade

Diamonds, gemstones and precious metals may incur up to 25% import tax.
May 15, 2019 9:18 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... The US diamond and jewelry industry is facing the possibility of higher tariffs on goods from China as the trade war escalates.

The Trump administration has proposed a levy of up to 25% on products from China worth a total of $300 billion, the US Trade Representative (USTR) announced on May 9. Raw materials and accessories used in the jewelry trade are among the 3,805 items on the list of goods that could be affected.

Both natural and lab-grown diamonds in various forms, as well as precious and semi-precious stones, made the list. Others include metals used in jewelry creation, such as gold and silver, as well as certain finished jewelry items.

The levies as a whole, if approved, could increase pressure on profits at certain publicly listed retailers, leading to possible store closures, UBS Investment Bank predicted in a note earlier this week.

“Our note from [April 9] calculated 20,710 stores need to close by fiscal-year 2026,” UBS said. “Tariffs could cause over half of this change in one year, rather than four.”

The USTR will hold a public hearing on June 17, and will allow a further seven days for opponents to submit rebuttals.

Image: Jewelry in a store window. (Shutterstock)
Tags: Jewelry Tariffs, President Donald Trump, Rapaport News, Trade War, US Trade Representative, USB Investment Bank
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