The Reason Many Things Are Costing More

How Do The Chinese Tariffs Affect You?
Tariffs have been all over the news--- we just reached an agreement with Mexico and negotiations with the Chinese have been going on for months.  The US and the Chinese government are still not happy with each other, so the full tariffs on Chinese imports have now taken effect.

For the everyday consumer, what does this mean? By doing a little sleuthing, we find out that the influence of buying Chinese products is everywhere in our lives. If you shop almost anywhere, you are almost certainly buying something produced, or at the very least, processed, in China.

Researching goods that are imported into the US was a real eye opener. According to US Census data, in 2018 the US imported from China goods in the amount of $539.5 billion. The items included everything from food to toys to chemicals to furniture, electronics... well, you name it, it was there! And in case you were wondering, that is more than we import from South Korea, the United Kingdom, France, India, Italy, Taiwan, the Netherlands, Brazil, Ireland, and Switzerland COMBINED!

We export our products to China as well, but not nearly as much as we import. In 2018, we exported $120.3 billion worth of goods to China.  FYI the goods that we ship to China are heavily taxed (tariffed) by the Chinese government as well. Soybeans, aircraft, and cotton are a few of our leading exports to China.

What does it mean, that we have imposed tariffs on each other?In the simplest form, it means that Chinese goods coming into the United States are charged a tariff, or tax, that is paid by the seller, but ultimately drives the price of the merchandise higher. The rationale behind purposely making Chinese goods more expensive is two-fold. First, it will make the Chinese goods a little less desirable, thus hurting sales.   Secondly, hopefully, it will encourage US consumers to buy more American made products as the Chinese made products will no longer be cheaper. Consequently, we Americans will start and support more of our own businesses producing those types of goods (theoretically.)

China then took measures to counteract the effect of our tariffs.  In addition to imposing its own tariffs on U.S. imports to China, the country devalued its own currency. That had the effect of making Chinese products cheaper, relative to the U.S.  "Of course, that's going to nullify some of the intended effect, which is to shift American producers and consumers away from Chinese goods," says Menzie Chinn, an economics professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Also, China has aggressively sought to replace American products by going to other countries, such as purchasing soybeans from Brazil and from Russia.

This is a global poker game, with the goal of getting China to start buying more of our products. China has the second-biggest economy in the world, and responds to incentives more than to nice words. These tariffs give China an incentive to negotiate, and agreeing to import more of our products is the goal.  China's first reaction was to retaliate. That's just posturing. Remember, this is a high stakes poker game.Once all is hashed out, China will be buying more American goods and WE will be buying more American goods, which is ultimately a good thing. But right now, we are paying more money for many consumer products.

What Does This Have To Do With Flooring?
Fortunately, almost all of the carpets we carry are manufactured in the US, most of them right here in Georgia, near Dalton, "The Carpet Center of the World".  So-- no impact there! However, about half of our wood products, and almost all of our vinyl products, come from China. This means that prices on these two categories have gotten higher. A LOT higher. They went up some when the original tariffs went into effect in September, but then when the second wave of tariffs went into effect in May prices went up again. Manufacturers and retailers are attempting to soften the blow to the consumer this time by absorbing some of the increase, but average consumers are still going to see and feel the differences. Totally out of our control. We don't like it anymore then you do, but there it is.

We do still offer 12 month interest free financing for purchases over $5000, which can be very helpful, while our governments work out the new trade agreements.

How Much Does It Cost?
Not everything has gone up, and not everything is super expensive.  We just installed a large (almost 1000 square feet) basement in builders grade carpet.  Not top-of-the-line, but perfect for the use these rooms will get. The price was $2200, which included a very nice new pad, pull-up and disposal of the existing carpet and pad, and moving the furniture

Summertime Is A Great Time To Get Things Done
Make the most of your summer! For teachers, this is your window of opportunity- and it will snap shut before you know it. We do a lot of work in the summer for teachers who now have the time to catch a breath and spend some time thinking about their home. New floors, kitchen updates, bathroom remodels, these are all easily managed in the next 6 weeks. Yes, that's right- 6 glorious weeks from now, most of our wonderful teachers will be back in the classroom.

Cobb County students go back to class on August 1st, as do Cherokee County students. Fulton starts later this year, on August 12. Then their next breaks will be Fall Break, and suddenly it will be Thanksgiving! If you are planning on a family gathering at your home for Turkey Day, the clock is ticking!

Whether you are a teacher or not, come on in and see all the wonderful new products we have. The carpets are beautiful, and we have some gorgeous new wood floors for you, low gloss, wide plank. And the vinyls and laminates just keep improving all the time! We'd love to help you with your new floors!

Design Tip
Looking for a few new accessories to update your décor this summer?  Think ceramic! Organic style ceramics with subtle patterns and an artisanal element are trending. Look for embossed jugs and vases and fill them full of pretty blooms and foliage.  Natural colors (white, cream, bone), blush pink and jet black are the poplar colors this summer.

I Was Floored By Enhance
One of our very favorite couples ever wrote this nice review:"We highly recommend using Enhance Floors & More for remodeling your home. They installed hardwood floors in our entire downstairs, installed granite countertops and backsplash in our kitchen, and painted our kitchen cabinets. The whole experience was a pleasure. The salespeople were helpful and listened to us. When Don gave our estimates, he gave great suggestions and explained the process well. The work was scheduled seamlessly, and the installers were prompt and did a fabulous job. They paid great attention to detail and were very efficient and professional. The work quality was excellent. Our salespeople who worked with us followed up to make sure we were satisfied. The prices were very reasonable. Our experience was a very positive one! We look forward to working with the Enhance Floors & More again soon."

Thank you very much, Mr. and Mrs. Miller.  You were a pleasure to work with and we look forward to your next project!