Are American crafters the trade ally China needs?

Gloria Van Rees

Knitting grandmas could become political collateral of the Trump administration and the ongoing trade dispute with China. The CEO of Joann Fabrics, a crafting retailer in the United States, has made the rounds of financial news shows to discuss the impact tariffs have on their customers. A 25% tariff on craft good imported from China could impact American crafters, including small business owners on website likes Etsy. Yet at a time when crafters in the US consider this the time to go buy yarn, inventories are down. Taking a look at the figure below, cotton yarn is down from April 2018. There could be some seasonality involved in the inventory numbers, but with mid to late August being the time crafters prepare for winter projects, the downward momentum may mean scarcity on store shelves, coupled with tariffs, could mean crafters are looking for other projects to make a profit on.