Impact of Chinese Tariffs on Lighting Products Set to Hit Soon

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Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you have heard about the tariff battle between China and the United States. Back in September, the Trump Administration approved $200 billion in new tariffs and China countered with $60+ billion of their own new tariffs. More tariffs may be on the horizon on both ends. As you might expect, this will have an effect on lighting imports from China.

The new tariff list includes lighting these lighting related items:

9405.10.40 – Chandeliers and other electric ceiling or wall lighting fittings (o/than used for public spaces), of brass
9405.10.60 – Chandeliers and other electric ceiling or wall lighting fittings (o/than used for public spaces), of base metal (o/than brass)
9405.10.80 – Chandeliers and other electric ceiling or wall lighting fittings (o/than used for public spaces), not of base metal

9405.40.82 – LEDs for backlighting of LCDs
9405.40.84 – Electric lamps and lighting fixtures nesoi, not of base metal

9405.91.30 – Parts of lamps, lighting fittings, illuminated signs & the like, globes and shades, of glass (o/than lead crystal)
9405.91.40 – Parts of lamps, lighting fittings, illuminated signs & the like, chimneys, of glass
9405.91.60 – Parts of lamps, lighting fixtures, illuminated signs & the like, of glass nesoi
9405.92.00 – Parts of lamps, lighting fixtures, illuminated signs & the like, of plastics
9405.99.20 – Parts of lamps, lighting fixtures, illuminated signs & the like, of brass
9405.99.40 – Parts of lamps, lighting fixtures, illuminated signs & the like, not of glass, plastics or brass

Some lighting manufacturers have held off on price increases as they survey the situation. Others have already increased pricing to distributors, and it is starting to trickle down to end users, to the tune of 3-4% on standard 40W-60W equivalent LED bulbs. More increases will come on November 1st and by January 2019, it is expected that pricing will increase anywhere from 5-15% depending on the product and manufacturer.

This may cause hesitation among end users looking to retrofit. That said, prices had been dropping rapidly over the past couple years. 100W equivalent LED a-lamps from reliable manufacturers were commonly being sold in the $19.95 range in 2016 and even higher before that. That figure had been cut almost in half by the middle of 2018. So while prices will get pushed back up quite a bit, it’s highly unlikely they will reach pre-2018 levels. Ultimately it will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer so your best bet (as always) is to work with a trusted lighting distributor who can sort through the options and get you the best solution for your application.

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