Local businesses and consumers prepare for rising prices amid trade war with China

(WHAM photo)

The Trump Administration's tariffs on Chinese goods are now in effect, and China is firing back.

China calling this the largest trade war in economic history, saying they were forced to respond with their own tariffs.

China's target list of American goods includes electric cars, whiskey, poultry and soybeans.

For the U.S., Friday's tariffs on $34 billion dollars worth of Chinese exports are affecting more than 800 Chinese products.

This includes machinery, medical devices and auto parts.

Local businesses and consumers are now preparing for rising prices.

As China puts tariffs on U.S. goods effective immediately, businesses say it's a game of wait and see.

“The goal is to develop more American jobs by buying less from overseas and having it produced domestically. That’s a lot easier said than done,” said George Conboy, Chairman of Brighton Securities.

Conboy says a trade war and tariffs is rarely good for consumers, and if it lasts more than a few months, it will hurt both the U.S. and China.

“We’re gonna find out whether China needs us more than we need them. It’s a game of chicken right now,” Conboy explained.

Washing machine prices are already going up, some brands by $50. Car dealerships say tariffs could affect what vehicle you buy.

“It’s really hard to say what this is going to look like,” said Brad McAreavy, President of Rochester Auto Dealers Association. “It could apply to parts, it could apply to a vehicle in its entirety. They’re going to see what the price differences are, and it may play into their decision or not.”

Gary Schreib, the President of Cycle Stop, says, “Some consumers aren’t going to realize anything. Some are going to be winning, and some consumers are going to pay a little more. It’s too early.”

Trump and his advisers argue the tariffs are necessary to pressure China into abandoning unfair practices.

But Senator Charles Schumer says the president should have focused on China alone

“Go after China, but don't treat China the same as Canada, who we have a lot of good relationships with and we need to be far more careful. Don't treat them the same as Europe," he said.

Conboy says, watch and wait. “Nationwide, China needs us more than we need them. So in the end the tactic might actually work," he said.

While it's unclear how long these tariffs will last, there is the possibility of more tariffs at the end of the summer.

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