BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – As the stock market dropped and the trade war with China intensified, some Colorado companies are still uncertain what to do as tariffs impact their futures.
“It’s been a lot of uncertainty frankly for the last year plus, and it’s quite erratic,” said Drew Saunders, a manager at Oberalp in Boulder, a company that oversees five outdoor brands.
Last week, it was announced that List 4 products were now up for tariffs. Those include many apparel products, electronics and shoes.
“We plan our business well in advance, seasons and years in advance, and we’re doing that with so much uncertainty right now,” Saunders said.
The brands Oberalp oversees, Dynafit, Salewa, Pomoca, Wild Country, and Evolve climbing shoes, and almost all are being impacted in some way. Many of the company’s shoes are not made in China but other products are.
“This is a shirt that’s going to be seriously impacted by the tariffs. It is already heavily tariffed about 30%, and it’s going to be 10% addition on top of that,” Saunders said.
Many small Colorado companies are debating if they should absorb the cost of the tariff, let their bottom lines suffer, or pass the price on to the customers. Saunders sits on an industry group’s Trade Board where several companies have debated best practices.
“People are going to really start to feel it in their pocketbook come the fall,” said Saunders. “It’s a headache for everyone to try to figure out what’s the best long term strategy.”