Tariffs – The Rising Impact On Your Lighting Project

Published June 2019


Tariffs are essentially taxes on imported and exported goods. Tariffs date back centuries, however the most pressing issues on tariffs in the US are primarily focused on the continuing trade war with China, and other nations. The cost of delaying a lighting project could grow exponentially as tariffs continue to rise.


Tariff’s have been a growing concern for American importers since President Donald Trump’s first two rounds of tariffs on Chinese goods earlier this year.

Most recently, Trump imposed a round of tariffs in September that covered $200 billion worth of goods, including everything from furniture, food seasonings, network routers and industrial machine parts.

These tariffs impose a 10% increase, however they are estimated to increase to 25% by the end of the year. In addition to tariffs imposed earlier this year, the new penalties account for nearly 50% of the products that China sells to the US every year will be impacted by American tariffs. Trump’s administration states the tariffs are meant to punish China for alleged unfair trade practices, including intellectual property theft.


Some argue that new tariffs could contribute to the reshoring of manufacturing jobs in the US, however many manufacturing and engineering companies are suffering from these new laws.

Specifically, the most impactful tariff will be the 25% tax on steel and 10% tax on aluminum, which most certainly impacts imported items such as LED fixtures, lamps, and lighting components. These costs will have a direct impact on the cost of any lighting upgrade project, and will likely increase the longer you wait.

Some manufacturers will need to take a new approach in manufacturing in order to keep prices in check or to engage the supply chain to source cheaper parts or different materials. In the mean-time, these additional costs are manifesting themselves throughout the process, often to the end user.

If you want more information on how these tariffs may impact your lighting project, please consult one of our experts and we will discuss the details with you.