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Bridal industry impacted by the ongoing tariff wars with China

Posted at 7:44 PM, Jun 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-21 22:44:15-04

BAKERSFIELD.CALIF. — President Trump’s tariffs on Chinese imports may influence those preparing for their big day.

The tariffs, if put in place, could impact many manufacturers in the country including the 6-billion-dollar bridal industry, according to a major bridal retailer.

Beads, rhinestones, lace are some of the materials used to create bridal gowns. A majority of these materials are shipped from China which is currently in a tariff war with the U.S.

Angela Jourdan, co-owner of Enchanted Bridal Boutique off of Stockdale Highway says wedding gowns could increase by nearly 50 percent. She says this will destroy their business, along with many others throughout the country, because people won’t be able to afford wedding gowns.

“My sister and I have put everything that we have into our business,” said Jourdan. “And for it to be shut down because of a tariff and the increase in the cost of getting the gown shipped to the U.S. that would be devastating to us."

President Trump has proposed a 10% to 25% increase on Chinese goods. In a statement published on whitehouse.gov, he says the "tariffs are essential to preventing further unfair transfers of American technology and intellectual property to China, which will protect American jobs.”

“The small businesses are begging you to please exempt us from this tariff, because will dramatically affect us and put us out of business,” Jourdan said.

Jourdan added that if the tariffs are put into place, their shop could be affected in as little as six months.

“The taxes here in California are already just horrible,” Jourdan said. “I can't fight taxes, but I can fight these tariffs, so that’s why I wrote my letter and fighting where I can.”

Jourdan, along with 400 other retailers across the country decided to voice their concerns. The retailers wrote letters and gave them to Stephen Lang, Mon Cheri CEO and president of the American Bridal and Prom Industry Association who testified at the United States Trade Representative and presented the letters on the third day of hearings.

“My message to President Trump is, 'I support what he wants to do about the unfairness in trade and intellectual property',” said Lang. “But you can't put people out of business on your march with understanding and putting people out of business. I spent my life doing this."