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Tariff and binocular sales

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#26 wrnchhead

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 06:28 PM

 

Look at tools. A SnapOn brand rachet costs $30. A Walmart rachet cost $5.95 with sockets. 

 

 

A basic Snap On ratchet is $80+

 

I own those and Craftsman. But I can't depend on anything but Snap On to stand up for years. The others are perfectly fine for home use, even a lifetime for a hobbyist using it often. But can literally get a Chinese ratchet for 99 cents. Obviously will be very flawed. That's probably a little too low on the scale for a real comparison, a $5 ratchet may work ok for a long time (user has a lot to do with cheap tool longevity) but at 1600x the price you would think so. 

 

Now if a guy needs to accomplish something at home, not his job, what should be buy? '

 

As a consumer only, not a keyboard economist (I don't even qualify as that for the record) there isn't really much choice to be had. The Snap On ratchet is 100% made here, but even wanting as much as you can to buy American, do you really have a choice here? 

 

10 years ago I wanted to buy camping gear. I wanted to buy USA made, partly because shucks, it's camping! That's when I discovered that locally in my middling sized town, that was not possible. 


 

#27 mich_al

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 06:52 PM

...

But look at the prices of those scopes. A Televue 4” APO cost around $3K. A 4” APO China made scope cost ~$1K or less.  

 

Look at tools. A SnapOn brand rachet costs $30. A Walmart rachet cost $5.95 with sockets. 

 

The point is this. You can’t have cheap American Made goods because our wages are higher. If you want cheap scopes, tools, etc. then they will be made elsewhere, likely China or India.

 

American jobs or cheap foreign goods. You decide.

 

There's more to it than simply end price.  The Snap-On rachet is a quality tool that will last a lifetime of of daily strenuous use, the Walmart rachet is very likely to break at its first challenge. Right now nearly all our stores AND LANDFILLS are filled with imitation components (nearly everything-not just rachets and telescopes)  that way too many buyers believed to be on equal par with their quality sibling.  The difference is much more than the difference in labor cost.  Nearly everything inside Walmart and their ilk is junk made to fall apart in short order and be replaced with more junk, but yes it is inexpensive.


 

#28 JimOfOakCreek

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 07:08 PM

There's more to it than simply end price.  The Snap-On rachet is a quality tool that will last a lifetime of of daily strenuous use, the Walmart rachet is very likely to break at its first challenge. Right now nearly all our stores AND LANDFILLS are filled with imitation components (nearly everything-not just rachets and telescopes)  that way too many buyers believed to be on equal par with their quality sibling.  The difference is much more than the difference in labor cost.  Nearly everything inside Walmart and their ilk is junk made to fall apart in short order and be replaced with more junk, but yes it is inexpensive.

I agree. But the point is: should Americans have access to cheap Chinese goods or not?

 

Or should tariffs drive the Chinese out and force Americans to buy SnapOn quality products? It would create more American jobs but price ratchets out of the range some Americans can afford.

 

Should amateurs have access to cheap Chinese scopes or not? Or should we force Americans to buy AstroPhysics quality scopes? 

 

 Americans need to have that discussion.

 

Clouding the issue with the lie,  ‘China is paying billions of dollars in tariffs to the US Treasury’ is a propaganda lie. Not helpful.

 

Tariff taxes force Americans to pay billions of tariff dollars into the US Treasury.


Edited by JimOfOakCreek, 13 May 2019 - 07:17 PM.

 

#29 Cali

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 07:31 PM

I agree. But the point is: should Americans have access to cheap Chinese goods or not?

 

Or should tariffs drive the Chinese out and force Americans to buy SnapOn quality products? It would create more American jobs but price ratchets out of the range some Americans can afford.

 

 Americans need to have that discussion.

 

Clouding the issue with the lie,  ‘China is paying billions of dollars in tariffs to the US Treasury’ is a propaganda lie. Not helpful.

 

Tariff taxes force Americans to pay billions of tariff dollars into the US Treasury.

Um, no. FYI

 

Regarding, "‘China is paying billions of dollars in tariffs to the US Treasury’ is a propaganda lie. Tariff taxes force Americans to pay billions of tariff dollars into the US Treasury."

 

- Not really. Not sure where you're getting you information JimOfOakCreek. The following may not be well known. (Unless you were an Econ major, why would you care?) Here goes:

 

Who pays tariffs.

 

Tariffs are a tax on imports. They're typically charged as a percentage of the transaction price that a buyer pays a foreign seller. ... In the United States, tariffs — also called duties or levies — are collected by Customs and Border Protection agents at 328 ports of entry across the country. Proceeds go to the Treasury. (Where they go from there, I dunno). The tariff rates are published by the U.S. International Trade Commission in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule,

 

 

Telescopes and binoculars are included in the schedule. Look at Heading/SubHeading 9005.  I haven't spent the time determining the rates of duty. Not sure if the published rates include proposed June 1st tariffs.

 

Why tariffs are inflationary.

 

Tariffs increase the prices of imported goods. Because of this, domestic producers are not forced to reduce their prices from what would normally be increased competition which now cost more because of the imposed tariff, and as a result, domestic consumers are left paying higher prices.

 

OR said another way:

 

Domestically produced goods will usually see price increases indirectly as a result of a tariff, as demand for these domestically produced goods will increase as a result of the weaker competition from foreign produced goods which are now more expensive because of the tariff.

 

 

There's some wiggle room in the above. I don't mean to be alarmist but given the lack of close substitutes from anywhere else, expect the price for Chinese made astronomical equipment to increase if tariffs are imposed. Expect announcements from suppliers. 

 

- Cal


Edited by Cali, 13 May 2019 - 09:14 PM.

 

#30 mich_al

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 07:42 PM

I agree. But the point is: should Americans have access to cheap Chinese goods or not?

 

Or should tariffs drive the Chinese out and force Americans to buy SnapOn quality products? It would create more American jobs but price ratchets out of the range some Americans can afford.

 

Should amateurs have access to cheap Chinese scopes or not? Or should we force Americans to buy AstroPhysics quality scopes? 

 

 Americans need to have that discussion.

 

Clouding the issue with the lie,  ‘China is paying billions of dollars in tariffs to the US Treasury’ is a propaganda lie. Not helpful.

 

Tariff taxes force Americans to pay billions of tariff dollars into the US Treasury.

 

Well the choices are as binary as you suggest BUT there are far far far more junk choices available.  In fact I find that locating ANY quality product can be difficult at times due to the saturation of junk products.  Often it's not obvious that it is junk until it falls apart way too soon.

 

Your other (related) subject and its extensions keeps me up at night.  The misdirection and its acceptance is alarming


Edited by mich_al, 13 May 2019 - 08:06 PM.

 

#31 Astrojedi

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 08:24 PM

There is quite a bit of misinformation out there being spread by politicians of all colors. Let’s clarify a few facts here including Economics 

 

1. America’s higher wages are not a function of tariffs but rather productivity and innovation

2. America has benefited tremendously from trade with China. The lower cost expands the market and turns what was once a luxury product into a mass market product and raises standard of living

3. Most of the manufacturing even in China is done on automated manufacturing lines with robots. The stuff still manufactured by humans is very low cost stuff or niche. If you move this manufacturing to the US it will have little impact on jobs or wages.

4. Quality is not a function of country rather it is the function of product specifications. Quality is expensive but the problem is that most US companies outsource manufacturing to China to lower costs.

 

While China has indulged in certain practices that are not consistent with free markets (e.g. currency valuation, stealing IP), tariffs are a completely irrelevant and purely a political stunt as they will not do what the politicians claim they will. I just hope this idiocracy ends soon.


Edited by Astrojedi, 13 May 2019 - 08:36 PM.

 

#32 Stephen Kennedy

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 08:41 PM

If I were a carpenter by profession, I would not buy either American or Chinese tools, I would buy Makita power tools made in Japan since they are the best money can buy and my livelihood depends on the reliability and functionality of a power saw or drill,  However, I am a doctor not a carpenter and my need for a power tool is pretty sporadic and a less robust tool would probably meet my needs.  I actually did buy a Makita drill because I heard that is what all the professional carpenters use and now I wonder why I paid so much money for something I might use a few times a year.  I could have purchased what for me would be a "lifetime" power tool that was made in either the U.S. or China and saved some money.


 

#33 Cali

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 08:55 PM

My father used to swear by Makita power tools. He left his to my brother, whose son is already using them.

 

- Cal


Edited by Cali, 13 May 2019 - 08:56 PM.

 

#34 SMark

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 09:09 PM

Was just wondering what this would mean to let's say the difference in price between the APM and Oberwerk BT 100 APOs.....tongue2.gif

At least you, Mr. Bill, are trying to actually talk about binoculars... sigh2.gif

 

I think both companies will remain competitive with each other, regardless of tariffs. It's always possible that one might feel an advantage and make cuts to try to put the other out of business. But I doubt that kind of attitude prevails here.


 

#35 JimOfOakCreek

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 09:56 PM

 

PUm, no. FYI

 

Regarding, "‘China is paying billions of dollars in tariffs to the US Treasury’ is a propaganda lie. Tariff taxes force Americans to pay billions of tariff dollars into the US Treasury."

 

- Not really. Not sure where you're getting you information JimOfOakCreek. The following may not be well known. (Unless you were an Econ major, why would you care?) Here goes:

 

Who pays tariffs.

 

Tariffs are a tax on imports. They're typically charged as a percentage of the transaction price that a buyer pays a foreign seller. ... In the United States, tariffs — also called duties or levies — are collected by Customs and Border Protection agents at 328 ports of entry across the country. Proceeds go to the Treasury. (Where they go from there, I dunno). The tariff rates are published by the U.S. International Trade Commission in the 

The American Importer pays the tariff at the border, not the Chinese Exporter.

 

A tariff is a border tax on the buyer, not the seller—tariffs make it more expensive for a buyer to import a good into the country. The specific mechanism is that the US importer must pay the tariff to US Customs before the goods are released to the importer at the border.

 

Yes, the tariff taxes collected go to the US Treasury. But they are paid by the American Importer then past on to the consumer as higher prices.

 

Here’s a typical example of an American family business who pays the tariffs.

 

https://www.cnbc.com...-not-china.html


Edited by JimOfOakCreek, 13 May 2019 - 10:12 PM.

 

#36 dd61999

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 10:11 PM

Any true free market economists will tell you that tariffs do more harm then good. It’s just a tax and you can’t tax your way to prosperity 


 

#37 JimOfOakCreek

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 10:16 PM

Well yeah, I mean, did you think I meant that the Chinese exporter would pay the tariff? What sense would that make? The American Importer pays the tariff ("...typically charged as a percentage of the transaction price that a buyer pays a foreign seller...") thereby increasing the American Importers cost of goods. That increased cost, either wholly or partially, gets passed on to the U.S. consumer.

 

- Cal

Oops, sorry, the way you phrased your response (“Um, no”) confused me. Sorry.


 

#38 OBERWERK

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 03:14 PM

This is going to be interesting....obviously, APM Germany will be unaffected and so our costs here for his product will probably remain the same whereas Oberwerk imports directly from Chinese factories.

 

question.gif

Tariffs are based on COO (country of origin), regardless of where the products are shipping from.  So tariffs would equally impact all companies selling Chinese-made goods in the USA.  


 

#39 GamesForOne

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 04:41 PM

Tariffs are based on COO (country of origin), regardless of where the products are shipping from.  So tariffs would equally impact all companies selling Chinese-made goods in the USA.  

Makes sense or that would be one gigantic loophole!

 

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#40 edwincjones

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 04:52 PM

It would be good to buy optics Made in USA,

but does anyone still  make them here?

 

StarMaster did, as other small dob makers ,

and maybe still do?

AP, TV scopes ?

any binoculars made in USA?

 

so bottom line for anyone wanting to buy Chinese optics or anything else from China

Buy Now before the price increase before current shipping chain ends.

 

edj


Edited by edwincjones, 14 May 2019 - 05:00 PM.

 

#41 Gordon Rayner

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 06:16 PM

Recall what happened  when Fuji lawyers   successfully   reduced tariffs on prism  binoculars to zero,  in the early1980's,  IIRC.  The rational was that  there was no  US  production  of those.   B&L  stopped Rochester  production of prism binoculars ca. 1973, unfortunately,  despite  20% (??)  protection tariffs.         So, Oberwerk, etc.  perhaps you can  appeal to the appropriate politicians  and bureaus   for  relief  upon that basis.

 

Kamakura   KK   have   factories in China  , Japan,   and  a small  assembly   facility   in US  assembling Japanese   ,  or likely Sino-  Japanese,  parts.   That  little plant is to   satisfy  US military contracts',  requirement  of   40%   or 50%,  or whatever % it  is  , value added within the USA.  Does that include  Puerto Rico,  Guam,  Samoa, US Virgin   Islands,....?  Maybe Kamakura have other locations  also

 

TeleVue  eyepieces   were   made in Taiwan,  the last time I asked at RTMC.  Their  telescopes ?  Re:#20  above

 

Is it not so that   at least some Makita  power   tools   are made in China?  RE. #32  above.

 

One might hope that quality   Vise-Grip   locking  pliers  and  drill press clamps,  etc.  would come back,  from DeWitt, Nebraska,  instead of  the inferior  Chinese versions  which can frustrate  .     Chinese tools , machine tools,  prism binoculars, etc . have varied from  cheapo  to   very high quality, if not the very finest and most expensive.  


Edited by Gordon Rayner, 14 May 2019 - 06:25 PM.

 

#42 wrnchhead

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 07:44 PM

This thread has been amazing. Instead of a furious flame war, there has been reasonable discussion. I read all linked materials and learned a lot I did not know.

Thank you to all.
 

#43 BRCoz

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 08:33 PM

I remember a time stuff from Japan was cheap, Taiwan was next.  Not cheap anymore and quality is top shelf.


 

#44 GamesForOne

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 08:26 AM

I remember a time stuff from Japan was cheap, Taiwan was next.  Not cheap anymore and quality is top shelf.

I tend to think that the reputation of Japanese goods with regard to quality has been inflated along with their prices.  smirk.gif

 

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#45 mich_al

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 05:00 PM

I tend to think that the reputation of Japanese goods with regard to quality has been inflated along with their prices.  smirk.gif

 

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Don't know about that.  Take motorcycles for instance, I've owned many, beat them severely and with maintenance (not severe) they last forever.  I'd add that spare parts are vastly available going back several decades unlike my American cars.

 

My Sansui receiver and speakers, bought in 1972 and used from 75 to present has never missed a beat.  Came with full manual, functional schematic and full electronic schematic.


Edited by mich_al, 15 May 2019 - 05:05 PM.

 

#46 GabrielKnight

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 07:59 PM

So ... is America winning yet?
 

#47 Cali

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 10:26 PM

So ... is America winning yet?

Why yes! China is paying zillions of dollars in tariffs to the U.S. Treasury. Billions will be available to farmers in a second round of assistance designed to help offset losses from China's latest retaliatory tariffs.

 

On a heavier note I'm hoping Sky & Telescope will do a piece on how all of this is affecting the Astro industry.

 

- Cal


 

#48 Riccardo_italy

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 06:29 AM

It happens that I know a bit of economics.

 

Sometime taxes / state intervention are good - market becomes more efficient: this situation is called market failure. Pollution (externality) is a typical example. Another example is moral hazard / adverse selection in many insurance markets (you americans are crazy to have such an health system: Germany pays half of what you pay in term of % GDP and has a better output - I'm talking purely in terms of efficiency, what you get for what you pay).

 

But a trade-war is not a market failure. There's no efficiency gain for the average Joe in having tariffs and taxes with China. The only people who gains are the stakeholders of firms protected by the tariffs. But the damage to the economy will be larger than the gains of the people who get protected.

 

True, there's the level the playing-field argument (which is not an argument for efficiency, the average Joe is still worst-off, but a short-term justification to force your opponent to "play fair game"). But if this is the reason of the tariffs, then tariffs should be targeted against the specific sectors where the playing field is not levelled. That's not the case with the broadband tariff-war you President has started. Easy example, Mr. Trump wants to put tariffs against EU car makers. It's very difficult to say that EU car-makers pay their employees lower wages or have less stringent anti-pollution requirements (indeed labor costs is much higher in Europe).


Edited by Riccardo_italy, 16 May 2019 - 06:34 AM.

 

#49 Michael Covington

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 07:26 AM

Very good analysis. 


 

#50 kellyvictoria

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 08:03 AM

Do you mean: "broad stroke"?

"That's not the case with the broadband tariff-war your President has started". 


Edited by kellyvictoria, 16 May 2019 - 08:03 AM.

 


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