Thursday, August 30, 2018

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Fashion Law

Will Chinese Tariffs Further Fuel Fakes?

If you've been watching national news lately, you know the president is pushing for tariffs on items imported from China.  This has a major impact on local and state governments in America, who rely on Chinese companies for some of their infrastructure items like railcars, for example.  Certainly we support domestic jobs and manufacturing, but the reality is, much has moved overseas.  These are the cards dealt.


Imposing these tariffs could really hit closer to home--literally, if clothing and beauty items are swept into the list.  The likelihood is there.  Not only would items like synthetic and human hair be included, but lipstick, shampoos, and other essentials.  Consumers will really flock to small business if that becomes the case (which we support!).  The tariffs could also have an impact on the creative industry, in further flourishing the counterfeit market.  Like the now-shifting market in Iran, the love for high fashion, but barriers to enter the market can call for desperate measures.  

Counterfeit luxury items are sold openly in Iran.  It's almost a market necessity, as the global economy was long cut off because of international sanctions.  Importers have struggled to bring good into the country.  Consumers haven't let their wants struggle.  Neither have knockoff merchants.  As many sanctions have been relaxed over the last couple years, the market is sliding toward change, but not easily. Despite super conservative leadership in Iran, counterfeiters found ways to get consumers what they wanted--even if it meant taking on detested Western ways of loving luxury.  

The proposed Chinese tariffs in America could make for a similar situation.  Sure, there's already a counterfeit market here, and it's unlikely there won't always be one.  But, if brands are cut off in such a way to create burdens consumers aren't used to, counterfeiters will definitely find a way to meet demand--whatever it takes. When it comes to counterfeits in the health and beauty industry, it's more than just bags with questionable logos.  Formulas and chemical compounds are at stake.  Health is a whole different ballgame.  


As hearings continue on this issue in D.C., it is worth keeping an eye on.  Will counterfeits be king?


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