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Impact of Imposed Tariffs and Effect On Commercial Collections

iaccWhile an overwhelming number of respondents – 76.19% -- said they represent clients who work in industries that would be effected by the tariffs, they were split over the news of tariffs imposed by President Trump and the resulting trade wars. Only a slim majority – a combined 54.55 percent – indicated they were either “somewhat concerned” or “very concerned” by the reports. The rest –a combined 45.46%—indicated they were either “not concerned” or have “not even thought” about how the tariffs would impact them.

When asked what they thought the result would be for their industry, given the number of clients they thought could be effected by a trade war, a little over a third --36.36 percent-- agreed they really didn’t know what would happen but that they are monitoring the situation. Nearly a quarter –22.73%—responded by saying they believed that while demand for their services would increase, the ability to collect for their clients would also become very challenging.

More than 13% of respondents indicated they were very concerned about the impact the recently imposed tariffs will have on commercial collections. “Trade wars are never good for anybody,” said one respondent. “We depend on highly successful companies in the U.S. to make the economic engine work smoothly. Debt collection companies and law firms depend upon that success for their own profitability.”

Almost 10% of respondents said, “I believe that the need for commercial collection will drop if there is a trade war,” while an equal number said, “I believe that a trade war will lead to more needs for collection and we will be busier than ever.”

In fact, a combined 45.46% of respondents said they were “not concerned” or “haven’t thought about it.”

Nearly 23% said they believe demand for commercial collection services will increase, while 13.64% said they don’t think the industry will be impacted one way or the other by a trade war.

While much of the attention regarding industries that would be most affected by a trade war, including steel and aluminum and the auto industry – and IACC members concur – other industries they thought would be affected include, manufacturing, retail sales, agriculture, electronics, material suppliers, food stuffs, technology, airplane manufacturers, and largely, imports from China.

While the countries most effected by the tariffs include, Canada, Mexico, Japan, and the European Nation (EU), China seems to stand out.

According to a July 24 report by Emily Stewart from Vox, “Trump has imposed tariffs on China, Mexico, the EU and Japan, targeting primarily steel and aluminum from many American allies, put tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods and is looking to escalate by potentially increasing China tariffs and imposing a tax on imported cars and parts.”

“China in particular has more to lose for the most part,” said one IACC respondent to the survey, warning of the broader effect China could have and putting the whole issue in perspective. “If those manufacturers face losses because of trade war tactics, it ultimately has to cause a long-term, negative consequence to all of us. We do best when times are good. Cause any detriment to overall good economics and it will spiral down on all of us.”

“The administration now faces a crucial test of whether its aggressive strategy will extract promises from trading partners or end up backfiring on the United States economy,” according to a May New York Times article by Ana Swanson. “Whether American consumers get caught in the crossfire depends on how it all plays out.”


About IACC
The International Association of Commercial Collectors, Inc. (IACC) is an international trade association comprised of more than 350 commercial collection agencies, attorneys, law lists and vendors. With members throughout the U.S. and in 25 international countries, IACC is the largest organization of commercial collection specialists in the world. The IACC contributes to the growth and profitability of its members by delivering essential educational and professional tools and services in a highly collaborative and participatory environment. For more information, visit www.commercialcollector.com