Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu Nov 10 2016 14:56:39

Do Trump Views on Trade Help or Harm Online Sellers?

By: Ina Steiner

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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 (PDF format), 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?




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by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 10 16:11:56 2016

Anything he does has to be better than what the alternative would have been with the other one.

Congratulations to Donald J Trump and his family.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Thu Nov 10 16:30:14 2016

The question Ina poses is putting cart before the horse. The president elect said many things during his campaign.

Let's wait and see what he actually does.

IF he follows through by abrogating the TPP and reducing Chinese imports, it could be very good for my business. If it happens, I would no longer have to compete against counterfeit Chinese goods that are selling for a fraction of what my authentic, U.S. made items sell for.

For those American sellers who sell Chinese made goods, maybe not so good.

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by: sellerchick This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 10 16:52:35 2016

Would love to see him put a boot in the keister of the UPU and fix the horrible deal we have: with subsidizing Chinese e-packets, terminal fees, exorbitant international shipping costs, etc etc. Just don't know if he'll have time to get to it, because ISIS and a few other things have priority.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Nov 10 18:30:45 2016

Froggy, that's scary talk.  I firmly disagree.  What you stated was way to vague and broad.  We would not be better off with just some kind of change without consideration to its impact.  Things are just not that simple.

I honestly don't know how anyone, at this point, could figure out what he will do once he is in office.  

During his campaign he said whatever he thought people wanted to hear.  It didn't matter if it was fact based or had any truth to it.  But with that said, the people have spoken and he will be our leader come next year.

I think that there will be a lot of people that will be quite surprised at who they really voted into office.  He is a VERY smart man and he did what he thought he needed to do to get the vote.  IMHO we will now start seeing a totally different guy.  Some will like it and some won't.  

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by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 10 18:46:25 2016

@marie

The alternative to Trump would be the scariest. Why do you think he won. It sure wasn't because he might have been the best but maybe because he was the less scariest.

The alternative lost because of her lies. The American people just couldn't live through another 4 years like the 8 before. Like it or not THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SPOKE.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Nov 10 19:34:46 2016

Froggy

I'm not trying to debate who should have won.  He won the electorial votes, she won the popular vote, so just dismissing her isn't really the point.  According to the majority of the people that voted across the US, Hillary won.  The current way we do elections really is a complicated thing.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Nov 10 19:41:47 2016

Sorry I hit the wrong button and posted too quickly.

I honestly can't say who is the scariest.  It would all depend on the subject being discussed.  And like I said before, I'd bet money on it that the guy everyone voted for in the election is not going to be the same guy that shows up as PODUS.  

I'm very willing to support him as president as it is in all of our best interest to unify this country.  To split it would cause so many problems and I just hate thinking about what might happen.

But really it is so laughable when supporters say things like "The alternative lost because of her lies."  OMG, Trump did a whole lot of that himself.  To the point of comic relief.  Yet his supporters would dismiss his lies as if they never existed.  

Both sides have had issues telling the truth.  I'm just grateful the campaign is over and we can get down to business now.  He will be our president and he is what we have to work with, so work with him I will.  I don't necessarily have to agree with him, but I won't know that until he shows what it is he is going to do or try to do.

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by: Frank F This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 10 22:36:05 2016

I think you will see a big crackdown of the intellectual property theft, as its a massive problem.

And hopefully this crackdown will get the companies like ebay to have more of a culture to combat rather than coddle counterfeit criminal sellers from China and Hong Kong.. BIG BIG problem as they are now direct retailing to America and this is really hurting American small businesses.

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by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 10 22:55:14 2016

It seems to me that regardless of any trade issue/action that may or may not impact prices or related competive advantages in a 'free global' marketplace, any online offerng via a 'venue' that continues to manipulate, obfuscate, dictate fulfillment for, and and support fraudulant claims against, will continue to be disadvantaged by all THAT.

It also seems apparent (or perhaps better said should have seemed apparent), that despite any campaign rhetoric by the POTUS-elect, his past ACTIONS relating to his own lack of contractual adherence, his own outsourced manufacturing 'endorsements', and his own (currently alleged) falsely advertised educational products, speak clearly to his true nature regarding any concern for those who will be the 'footsoldiers' in this 'new' economic army promsed.

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by: Barbbie This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 11 00:16:04 2016

On one hand, I do sell some Chinese goods so I am somewhat concerned about import changes; however, costs can be passed on to buyers, assuming we are not talking about anything too high.  I have never made a sale to anyone in China in 20 years so not worried about outgoing sales there. I won't miss what I never had. Have tried to reduce my international available items to very inexpensive ones and only on ebay so I am not doing a whole lot of that anymore.  My hope is that we can get the USPS shipping cost inequity issue fixed. I do not care if I ever get another international sale if I can at least sell items within the US and compete fairly on cost instead of against someone in another country being subsidized with my money.
TPP does not impress me at all, not when paypal will just let them use your stuff for 6 months hanging over your head and not when ebay will just take all your money and then more for the return shipping on a whim. I do not think that paypal or ebay was on anyone's radar so fixing half the problem won't do it for me.
Besides, hate to tell them but China already sells everywhere!
As for the race, I can only judge people for their actions against me, Trump has not done anything to me. Hopefully, whatever happens, it will be good for our businesses and families in the future.  
Hillary, however, has caused near destruction of my business with her bad judgement, gave all citizens higher postal rates, added to the instability of the postal system which I depend on and unfairly advantaged the Chinese to sell over American people while not giving us the same deal and so I consider the boom she gave China's economy treasonous. Besides, I was not looking forward to Meg Whitman being in charge of anything on a Federal level either. I am glad she lost, she deserved it.

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This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Fri Nov 11 00:17:54 2016

Widget 'a' manufactured in China and sold for $5 lasts 3 months and has to be replaced over and over again. Widget 'b' manufactured in the US costs $6.50 and lasts a full year or more. Which widget would you buy and which widget is better for the environment?

My motto: "Pay more. Buy less."  

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by: donald This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 11 00:42:14 2016




I hope it helps otherwise he will not get my vote again !


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by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 11 01:28:01 2016

I'm with LasVagueness. Buy American. We need the jobs and money to stay in this country.    

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by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 11 01:40:17 2016

First  off-I  certainly  hope  that  none of the people  here are  affected  by  the violence and hatred  and racial  insults  and  religious  intolerance  currently  swirling  thru  our  country;  where  people are  being  harmed  and  children  are being terrorized by  their  school mates -where  kids as  young  as  4 are being  terrorized  by  being told--"You  will have to  go to another school--in Mexico":--regardless  of  whether or not the kid  is of-Mexican  origins.  And it's  not  just  kids--women are being attacked;  property  damage--swastikas;  slogans; hate speech--spray painted  on cars;  houses;  walls---  Remember--this is  strictly  the fault  of  Trump  calling  on  all the racist  and hateful  people  he  entranced TO  commit  acts of violence and intolerance. If  you support  this;  I  have no respect  for  you.  

He  has--as  others  here have said--offshored  his OWN products;  lying  that the US  does not "Make things  like he  sells"  anymore--  false. Brooks  Brothers  makes  almost  ALL of their  extremely high  end  items HERE;  as do others.  He COULD have  supported  the US worker BY  making  his products  here--he CHOSE  not  to  do  this. Virtually EVERYTHING  in  his  "new"  hotel  in  DC  is  made elsewhere--mostly  in--China.  The steel  for  his projects  is "Dumped"  from China;  this means  the specs  and material  might be  shoddy--do YOU trust  him  to make sure that  anything  ELSE  imported--from  food  to fabrics--is SAFE?  Chinese steel  to benefit  him  to build a bridge--people could die  that  way.  I  hope  it's  not  you or your loved ones.    He  TELLS  us  that  he  will do  things--and  he  does not--just  like  he  TOLD  his contractors  and architects  and  other  workers he would PAY  them--and  he  did--NOT. If  YOU  think  he  will not PROFIT  off  of being in the White House-at  OUR COUNTRIES  EXPENSE--you are---delusional.  He is refusing  to  place  his "business"  in a Blind  Trust--like  every OTHER modern  President  has done---his  children  will "run"  it  on  the info  HE  gives  them--the ultimate  Insider Trade.  You  know---what  sent Martha Stewart  to  jail?  That?  Oh--and  let's NOT forget  Russia--who has ADMITTED  being  complicit  in colluding  to ---contaminate--OUR election. How much trouble  can  THEY  make?    

What  he  will do--if  the Electoral  College  does  not  respect  the Popular Vote--is  anyone's  guess.  Whatever it is--it  will benefit  only ONE person  in  the end--Donald  Trump.  Not  you;  not  me;  whatever  he  thinks  is  to HIS benefit.  IF  we  might benefit  ---that  is none of HIS concern;  it  is  only a collateral benefit.  IF  it drove YOU out of business-he  could care  less.  He  has not your  interest at heart.

#notmypresident  

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by: Jester This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 11 04:20:08 2016

He will Help. He will put big tariffs on Chinese products and that will raise the standard prices on domestic items. Also he will not let the USPS allow the Chinese merchants to have the advantage on postage rates co-sponsored by our own USPS.

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by: birdman This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 11 05:08:36 2016

Re Comet post,regarding the threats to young children etc. Exactly the same happened here in Britain after Brexit and is still going on. Best of luck, USA. I think you are going to need it.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Nov 11 06:52:46 2016

Comet, I agree with you. What I saw on the news last night was appalling and deeply disturbing. Children in Bucks County, PA schools chanting "build that wall" with Latino children crying. Expel everyone of those little racists. What I was seeing on Twitter was equally appalling.  I am quite ashamed of my country. This is not the country that I know and love.

This was one day after the election. Buckle your seat belts, because I don't think you've seen anything yet. Mark my word, minorities and LBGT will not go back to the year 1955. They will be raising hell.

To Ming's point, who knows what the hell he will do. I feel that he has no plan and I feel that he would have said anything to win the election, and he often times pandered to America's lowest common denominator. Since he has no plan I feel pretty strongly that he is going to be someone's puppet. Who that someone or group of someones is, who knows. I even heard mentions of Sarah Palin for a cabinet role. Good God!

You voted for unpredictable? That is exactly what you got. And as for the wall, no one is building a $75+ billion wall. If you think that anyone is going to build a 30+ feet wall for  1,989 miles you are dreaming.  

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by: Flying Childers This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 11 07:33:33 2016

Trump's election was a victory for the American people.  He was just the messenger for a lot of people who are sick and tired of the way OUR country is going.  So all you snowflakes, get over it.  

As far as what will happen with China, it's hard to tell because unlike Obama, DJT is not going to be able to act unilaterally.  Congress is going to keep him on a short leash for a lot of reasons I won't go into here.

In addition to my handmade business, I buy and sell cheaper items from China in my b&m store which is in a tourist town.  These people don't want to spend more than $20 at a pop so I'm glad to have those items to sell.

On the other hand, I don't care who's in office - when it comes to Big Government I have no faith in anyone to do the right thing.  It is just too corrupt, even for a genius like Trump.

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This user has validated their user name. by: thehosst

Fri Nov 11 09:28:05 2016

Regardless of who is president, eBay will continue to excel at being the worst, Google will continue to drain the pockets of sellers and Amazon will continue the online monopoly growth. Trump presidency will create a lot of scare and sales will drop for sure. But what I'm worried about is how much India donated to his campaign, so expect to bring back those China jobs... to India. I also feel only cyber-attacks will increase, for obvious reasons.  

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by: GotToGetOut This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 11 09:34:07 2016

Marie, why would you think Froggy's comment is scary? He's saying Obama has not helped trade and anything would be better -- that's the question. I whole heartedly agree.

Democrats are so quick to defend. And it isn't PODUS (President of Da United States). It's POTUS (President of THE United States).

I usually like what you say about Ebay -- sometimes positive and sometimes negative with no agenda.

In this respect, I can see your agenda.

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