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Aug 28, 2018

Will Tariffs Increase Forklift Prices?

Will your next forklift cost extra, because of the tariffs on China?

I wanted to tackle this question now, before it scares any of our customers. The tariffs will affect prices on some forklifts, but not others.

China Tariffs on Forklifts

There's an easy way to tell if tariffs will affect your next forklift purchase. I'm going to break it all down in this issue.

How Will the Tariffs Affect Industrial Equipment Prices?

The tariff affecting industrial equipment went into effect in mid-June. I'll call it the "June Tariff." The June Tariff applies a 25% duty on thousands of products shipped from China.

You'll find the full list in PDF format on this page:

USTR Issues Tariffs on Chinese Products in Response to Unfair Trade Practices – Office of the United States Trade Representative

Forklifts ARE included on the list. These are the line items showing forklifts as subject to the June Tariff:

Tariff Lines Forklifts

Excerpt from Federal Register List of Products Subject to Tariff – June 20, 2018

Will this action lead to price increases? On certain new forklifts, yes.

The Good News: Many Forklift Brands Unaffected

It's important to know that the tariffs will not affect all forklift manufacturers. Only those shipping from overseas (e.g., China) after the June Tariff went into effect. Forklifts made in other countries, or here in the USA, won't have price increases.

We expect to see price increases on forklifts from the following brands:

  • Biola
  • BYD
  • Clark
  • Crown (for Electric Pallet Jacks)
  • Heli
  • Hyster-Yale
  • Linde/Ki-On
  • Maximal
  • Toyota (for Electric Pallet Jacks)

However, these brands are NOT subject to tariffs:

  • CAT (USA)
  • Doosan (Korea)
  • Jungheinrich (Germany)
  • Sellick (Canada)

This is for new forklifts only. Used forklifts already here in California are not subject to tariff and will not have any price changes.

In other words, if you want to buy new forklifts before the end of the year, and you wanted a Clark or BYD? You may pay up to 25% more. Our advice if you’re set on one of those brands: buy one from our existing inventory or consider buying one used.

The Caveat: A Steel Surcharge May Affect Manufacturer Costs

Steel from China is among the materials subject to tariff. This affects two major industrial products:

  1. Warehouse rack & shelving
  2. Forklift manufacturing

Even manufacturers based here in the USA, if they use Chinese steel imports, will face a steel tariff. This may mean we'll see 'steel tariff' surcharges in manufacturer pricing soon. It's not guaranteed, but it is possible.

Tariffs May Affect Our Industry, But Not by Much (or for Long)

The Cromer team is aware of the tariff situation. We have a simple plan to handle it:

  1. If a non-tariffed forklift will fit your needs, we will ask you to consider one during the buying process.
  2. If a used forklift will serve you, we will offer a used forklift at the best price available.
  3. If you need a tariffed new forklift, we will make you aware of the tariff, and then work with you on the best price.

Cromer has always stood behind its slogan of, "The right forklift for the right price." We aren't stopping now.

All Cromer locations have plenty of forklifts in stock now, free of tariffs and ready to go. Rack as well (see our Deal of the Month below).

Until next month!

Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
Cromer Material Handling

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