USA News

In the USA, The Goldfish Tariff: Fancy Pet Fish Among The Stranger Casualties Of The Trade War

What do goldfish have to do with the global trade balance?

That’s a question that has Ken Fischer reeling. He sells rare goldfish. And goldfish — the live pet, not the snack food — are tucked in on page 31 of list three of Chinese imports that face tariffs of 25%.

The goldfish tariff, like so many tariffs from the list, might seem negligible for someone buying a $10 common pet-store fish — the basic bright-orange kind one might get at a carnival.

The math is very different for sellers like Fischer. His Michigan company is Dandy Orandas, named for a type of fancy goldfish. It deals in top-shelf fish — telescoping eyes, calico colors, feather-like fins — that can go for well over $100 apiece.

“My income is literally cut in half by tariffs,” Fischer says. As a U.S. importer of a Chinese good, he is the one on the hook to pay the tariff.

Goldfish are among hundreds of products caught in the wide net cast by the Trump administration’s trade war with China. The countries reached “phase one” of a trade deal on Friday, averting a new tariff increase that had been slated to kick in this week. Yet, the tentative truce doesn’t undo existing tariffs. The White House has argued that reeling in Chinese imports would, among other things, also lure back jobs and factories to America.

For aquarium goldfish, China is not simply a source, but a motherland. There, goldfish have been bred over centuries into forms so varied and unusual that some enthusiasts and aquarists consider them a living art form.

Source: USA NPA