President-Elect Donald Trump was vocal about his position on international trade during the campaign - but how would those views impact online sellers who both import and export products?
On the policy page
of his website, he outlines "Donald J. Trump's 7 Point Plan To Rebuild the American Economy by Fighting for Free Trade." The first point is: "1. Withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which has not yet been ratified."
Here's more information
on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Among the selling points, it promises: "The TPP will make it easier to sell Made-in-America goods and services exports to some of the most dynamic and fastest growing markets in the world, and support homegrown jobs and economic growth."
We wrote about the TPP
last year: "Smaller merchants feel they face a lot of competition from Asia-based sellers especially on marketplaces like eBay, Etsy, Amazon - and they may feel that opening trading to Asia may not present a lot of opportunity to them at this time given the challenges they face in exporting to Asia (language, shipping costs, ability to track packages, knowledge of each countries' regulations/bans, and overall comfort level)."
However, TPP is a deal that excludes China. Some believe if the US doesn't sign on to the TPP, it could help China at the expense of the US by leaving a vacuum
that could be filled by the 16-nation Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade pact being pushed by the Chinese government. And some believe the RCEP is worse for the US than the TPP could be.
You can read more about Trump's views on foreign trade in this speech
), where he said, "We allowed foreign countries to subsidize their goods, devalue their currencies, violate their agreements, and cheat in every way imaginable. Trillions of our dollars and millions of our jobs flowed overseas as a result."
Trump said the US imports nearly $800 billion more in goods than it exports - factcheckers
say it's closer to $500 billion if you include services in that number - but the point is, there is clearly a demand for imports by American consumers.
If the US imposes high tariffs on goods imported from abroad, online sellers will have to raise the prices they charge buyers for those goods, unless they can find goods produced domestically from domestically-sourced raw materials.
On the other side of the equation: if the US imposes tariffs on imports, its trading partners will too, making it more expensive for international shoppers to purchase US goods.
On a net basis, do you think Trump's views on trade will be good or bad for YOUR ecommerce business?