Bruce Fox Blog


Posted by Dave Miller on Nov 6, 2018 1:08:00 PM

Estimated Read Time: 3 Minutes 


Halloween is in the rear-view mirror, but the real spooky stuff is still in full view in the windshield ahead of us.

Anyone reading this (or taking in oxygen) understands the tariff issue and the impact it bears on the promotional products marketplace. If this harbinger has somehow passed you by, then this article from Counselor will bring you up to speed:

Tariffs: Impact & Advice for the Promo Industry


Tariffs Impacting the Promo Industry

I read the article.  All 2,652 words of it. Several times. There were a few takes on how our industry might mitigate the effects of tariffs on imports from China. Here’s a summary of the possible solutions posed in the article:

  1. Shift from tariffed products to non-tariffed products.
  2. Move supply chains from China to other foreign countries.
  3. Increase prices to cover the costs.

I read it again, just to see if I missed what I thought was pretty obvious. I did unearth the words threat (2 times), confusion, repercussion, unknown (2), war (4), headache, insurmountable, disrupt (5), fear, and—my personal favorite—maelstrom. Words that clearly set a gloomy tone.

What I DIDN’T find within those 221 dozen words was anything regarding a safe harbor that also happens to be the closest to us all—US manufacturing.

US Manufacturing – The Safe Harbor from the Promo Tariffs

But wait! There’s a link within the article. So just maybe…

Is Made-in-the-USA Poised for a Comeback?

I was expecting hoping to discover a cascade of domestic-oriented thinking. I was disappointed.

Dodging the issue and confronting the issue are entirely different strategies, and I understand the existing business model that exists within our industry. But we are all in a position to play the role of a thought leader, or the role of a victim.  Fight or flight.

I’ll say it in about one-tenth the space that Counselor’s article took to not say it: Cultivate your domestic sources. We are here and ready to serve.

Death and taxes…we can at least help you with one of those inevitabilities.

Dave Miller, VP of Sales & MarketingDave Miller is VP of Sales & Marketing at Bruce Fox, Inc. and a professional writer by virtue of the fact his company is paying him to write this blog.  He has been with Bruce Fox since 1990, the year the Reds last won the World Series.  He would weigh about 32 pounds on the surface of the moon.  The goal of his blog is to “edu-tain” (educate + entertain) promotional products distributors, with a focus on custom work.  Dave also finds it very awkward to write about himself in the third person.

Tags: Challenges faced by distributors, Objections posed by distributors