Will The Chinese Tariffs Hurt The Tool and Toolbox Industry?

There’s been a lot of controversy surrounding the Chinese tariffs and many are wondering how the price of products that are imported from China and Hong Kong will be affected. Most experts believe that these tariffs will affect the prices of almost all major brands of tools and tool storage products. For a look at the reasoning behind this, it’s important to check out the list of items included on the tariff list.

Business Insider reports that these trade tariffs will most definitely impact manufacturers and businesses around the world; not just in America. That’s the first thing to note. Secondly, most all the components used in the manufacturing of tools and toolboxes are on the list. The price of such things as steel, aluminum, tin, and copper will soon rise. And those metals are used to build strong storage solutions.

We do often forget what goes into building a toolbox or even a cargo van. Most manufacturers are using various products found on the tariff list. When the price of items like silver, zinc, cadmium, tin and tungsten wire goes up, we can expect that to be seen in the final price of manufactured goods. Even common work gloves will rise somewhat in price.


The tariff list is comprised of 205 pages of thousands of items that Americans use every day from fish and seafood to textiles and LED lighting.

Can Anything Be Done About the Chinese Tariffs?

In a press release from the United States International Trade Commission, this was addressed:

“The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) today determined that a U.S. industry is materially injured by reason of imports of tool chests and cabinets from China that the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) has determined are subsidized by the government of China.

Chairman Rhonda K. Schmidtlein, Vice Chairman David S. Johanson, and Commissioners Irving A. Williamson and Meredith M. Broadbent voted in the affirmative.

As a result of the USITC’s affirmative determinations, Commerce will issue a countervailing duty order on imports of this product from China.”

The press release basically says that an investigation was conducted and that the trade commission found that the tool chest industry would be harmed by these tariffs. This includes products manufactured overseas, as well as products manufactured here in the U.S. Since most tool chests, tools and even work vans do contain many of the components found on the list and since those prices will continue to rise, there’s every reason to think that the end price will rise as well.

Most manufacturers will not be able to simply absorb the rising costs and leave their prices the same. Historically, if components used in manufacturing any item go up, the end price goes up as well.


What Does This Mean to Consumers?

Most experts in this industry recommend making purchases right away before the increase in prices from Chinese tariffs can be felt. That includes:

  • Tools
  • Tool chests and cabinets
  • Cargo vans
  • Work trucks
  • Trailers
  • Miscellaneous items like wire, gloves, and lighting

Many of these items can be written off as work-related expenses. That gives the consumer two ways to save money: directly through the purchase and indirectly through tax benefits. These expenses can be counted as investments in your business as well.

Rolacase Can Help!

Since 1982, the mission of Rolacase has been to provide electricians and construction workers with premium tool storage solutions. Rolacase understands the need to store and transport your expensive tools, thus protecting your tool investment. In addition, the company offers best-in-class service and customer support. Every Rolacase product is backed by a solid guarantee.

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