Struggling to Understand Tariffs? Check Out These Helpful Websites

Sometimes a word needs repeating several times to emphasize a point. For example, our topic today covers Tariffs, Tariffs, Tariffs!

Another example of a repeating a word for emphasis includes the real estate war cry, “location, location location”.

Of course, our personal favorite: “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!” (However, you needed to have grown up in the 70’s to get this one).

Tariffs, Struggling to Understand Tariffs? Check Out These Helpful Websites

What Are Tariffs? 

Anyway, tariffs lead today’s blog discussion.

First of all, let’s start out with the definition of a tariff.

We turn to our friends at for a definition of a tariff:

“A tariff is a tax or duty imposed by one nation on the imported goods or services of another nation. Tariffs are a political tool that have been used throughout history to control the amount of imports that flow into a country and to determine which nations will be granted the most favorable trading conditions. High tariffs create protectionism, shielding a domestic industry’s products against foreign competition. High tariffs usually reduce the importation of a given product because the high tariff leads to a high price for the customers of that product.”

Government Resources to Navigate Tariffs

Tariffs certainly rose to the forefront as an extremely hot topic this year.

Yet, if you are in manufacturing, odds are your business has been impacted one way or another due to tariffs.

Especially if you purchase global parts or components.

So what has your experience been so far this year facing new tariffs?

Are tariffs having a positive impact and helping your business? Allowing you to better compete with cheap imports as intended?

On the other hand, are tariffs just causing you grief and frustration?

Tariffs seem to have caused a great deal of uncertainty this year.

For example, we found our vendors struggled this year with quoting prices due to uncertainty with tariffs. This made it difficult for our team to quickly respond to quote requests while we in turn waited for vendor responses. Some vendors raised prices in advance of the tariffs actually even taking place.

Our goal serving as an American manufacturer is to provide every tool and resource possible to help our customers better compete and reach success.

Well, if you find it challenging to follow all of the changes with tariffs, the intention of this blog is to offer some assistance.

We decided to put together a number of websites to help you navigate these changes.

Below includes a list of government agencies and websites that offer helpful information on tariffs.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) Tariffs, Struggling to Understand Tariffs? Check Out These Helpful Websites

The Small Business Administration serves as a federal government agency that helps small businesses. The mission of the SBA:

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation.

The SBA defines tariffs as:

Tariffs are taxes, levies, or duties on a particular category of imports. These fees are charged as a percentage of the price of an imported good paid for by a U.S. buyer. These charges are collected by U.S. Custom and Border Protection agents at all U.S. ports of entry.

The SBA also offers this blog post below with helpful information on tariffs:

What Small Businesses Should Know About Tariffs

Federal Register Tariffs, Struggling to Understand Tariffs? Check Out These Helpful Websites

Another resource for information on tariffs includes the Federal Register which is The Daily Journal of the U.S. Government.

This link from June 20, 2018, provides information on the new tariffs from the Office of the United States Trade Representative:

Here is a summary from that post regarding new tariffs for 2018:

The U.S. Trade Representative (Trade Representative) has determined that appropriate action in this investigation includes the imposition of an additional ad valorem duty of 25 percent on products from China classified in the subheadings of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) set out in Annex A of this notice. The Trade Representative has further determined to establish a process by which U.S. stakeholders may request that particular products classified within a covered tariff subheading in Annex A be excluded from these additional duties. Further, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is seeking public comment and will hold a public hearing regarding a proposed additional action in this investigation. The proposed additional action is the imposition of an ad valorem duty of 25 percent on products of China classified in the HTSUS subheadings set out in Annex C of this notice.

Office of the United States Trade Representative 

Tariffs, Struggling to Understand Tariffs? Check Out These Helpful Websites

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative also provides valuable information.

According to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) website:

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is an agency of more than 200 committed professionals with decades of specialized experience in trade issues and regions of the world:

“We negotiate directly with foreign governments to create trade agreements, to resolve disputes, and to participate in global trade policy organizations. We also meet with governments, with business groups, with legislators and with public interest groups to gather input on trade issues and to discuss the President’s trade policy positions.”

In addition, this link below shares the press release from the USTR from September 2018 regarding tariffs on Chinese imports:

USTR Finalizes Tariffs on $200 Billion of Chinese Imports in Response to China’s Unfair Trade Practices

International Trade Association Tariffs, Struggling to Understand Tariffs? Check Out These Helpful Websites

The International Trade Administration (ITA) serves as another source for information on tariffs:

The International Trade Administration (ITA) strengthens the competitiveness of U.S. industry, promotes trade and investment, and ensures fair trade through the rigorous enforcement of our trade laws and agreements.  ITA works to improve the global business environment and helps U.S. organizations compete at home and abroad.

The ITA also offers a blog, Tradeology, which provides helpful information. For example, Tradeology  has a category called “Trade Policy“. ITA Blog posts include:

Tariffs, Struggling to Understand Tariffs? Check Out These Helpful Websites also offers helpful information on tariffs. The website states: helps U.S. companies plan, develop and execute international sales strategies necessary to succeed in today’s global marketplace. Developed by international trade specialists and economists, here you will find trusted market intelligence, practical advice and business tools to help you understand how to export, connect with foreign buyers, and expand operations in new markets.

In addition, the website offers information on tariffs and import fees with this link:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CSP)

Tariffs, Struggling to Understand Tariffs? Check Out These Helpful Websites

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CSP) serves to protect U.S. borders as well as enforces U.S trade laws.

In addition, the CSP provides information on the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (check link below):

Harmonized Tariff Schedule – Determining duty rates

United States International Trade Commission Tariffs, Struggling to Understand Tariffs? Check Out These Helpful Websites

The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) also offers helpful information. The USITC is responsible for publishing the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS); the U.S. Customs Service is responsible for administering the tariff and processing import entries.

Additionally, this link from the USITC Tariff Database offers information on “Tariffs: Get past, current, and future U.S. tariff rates in multiple formats”.

U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO)

Tariffs, Struggling to Understand Tariffs? Check Out These Helpful Websites

While researching tariffs, we found another excellent resource, the U.S. Government Publishing Office’s (GPO) Government. The GPO website states:

About the agency: GPO opened its doors over 150 years ago on March 4, 1861, and is part of the legislative branch of the federal government.  GPO employees have been Keeping America Informed on the documents of our democracy, in both printed and electronic form.  The agency produces the Congressional Record, Federal Register, the nation’s passports, and other Federal Government documents. It also maintains the Federal Depository Library Program to ensure public libraries nationwide have access to Federal published information.

In particular, the GPO offers an extremely helpful blog called Government Book Talk:

Welcome to the U.S. Government Publishing Office’s (GPO) Government Book Talk! Our goal is to raise the profile of some of the best publications from the Federal Government, past and present.  We’ll be reviewing new and popular publications, providing information about new publications in the offing, and talking about some out-of-print classics. The goal is to spotlight the amazing variety of Government publications and their impact on ourselves and our world – and have fun while doing it.

For example, the GPO Government Book Talk offers two extremely helpful posts:

Wrapping It Up 

Thank you for reading our post on Tariffs. Hopefully this list of government websites offer some assistance while navigating information of tariffs.

Finally, to learn more about Falconer Electronics, check out these helpful links below:


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