Chinese tariffs: Why locals should care

Manuel Pita, of Orlando, is not happy to hear he may have to shell out more money for products under the new Chinese tariffs.

"I don't want to pay for them," Pita said.

He says he already noticed jumping prices due to tariff's imposed earlier this year.

"Washers are already going up because of the tariffs, so you just have to buy less then," Pita said. 

"You can only pass costs to the extent that people have disposable income to eat those costs, otherwise people will stop buying the product or substitute it for something else, or just do without," said Patrick Thompson, an Orange County resident.

Changing spending habits is what University of Central Florida Economist Sean Snaith says is traditionally the result of consumers seeing rising prices due to tariffs. 

Some of the products you can expect to pay more for: rubber used for tires, orange juice, work tools and clothing.

"The lower-priced items, there's not a lot of wiggle room in terms of profit for companies to just sort of swallow the tariff in its entirety," Snaith said. 

But the good news, according to Snaith, is you don't have to buy goods made in China.

"Consumers are free to choose. They don't have to buy things that have gone up in price because of the tariffs, they can buy other goods produced elsewhere," he said.

When asked if Central Florida is particularly vulnerable to the new tariffs, Snaith said tourism could be impacted.

"As higher costs do get passed down to consumers and as much as they can't avoid that, of course, there's less money to spend on other things whether that is a vacation to Central Florida," he said.

With an economy dependent on tourists, fewer tourists would be the most painful impact of the tariffs.