The webcomics blog about webcomics

Can’t Spell Tariffs Without FFS

As near as I can tell, I first started wondering when Screamy Orange Grandpa¹ would take his trade war into territory that harmed webcomics back in June of last year. As luck would have it, George weighed in with his advice:

I am encouraging people to just factor in an extra 25% as a trump tax in case stuff gets fucked. This I’d recommend regardless of where you’re manufacturing. Since he’s hitting Canada the plants people use in Montreal often could be hit, and also US plants that are part of global multinationals could wind up having trickle down cost increases.

Hope you listened to him back then, because the get fucked stage of the tariffs-by-tweet tantrum is coming to webcomics:

[transcribed from screenshot] The Office of the US Trade Representative has announced that as of September 1, 2019, books printed in China or Hong Kong will be subject to a 10% tariff.

What this means:

  • Book product from China (which has always been zero rated) will now carry a 10% import duty.
  • The amount assessed is based on the declared value of the import plus freight.
  • The stated value must be verifiable — for instance, if the shipment is coming directly from a printer then the declare value must be equal to the print cost plus transport fees.
  • These shipments are likely to be highly scrutinized by customs officials, and fines will be steep for any mis-declaration.

I think we can add a bullet point to the list Donald Trump is an idiot, a petulant child, and surrounded by sycophants that tell him he’s big and strong and smart and other verifiable untruths, or he wouldn’t be pulling this shit and claiming that China is paying the US money.

For the immediate term — near as I can tell — even if you put in your order and everything was complete before Sunday, if it arrived this week or later you’ll have to pony up. If you ran a campaign figuring that this fuckery wouldn’t happen, you’re going to have to come up with a check or your books won’t clear customs impound. If you haven’t started your print order (or your print project yet), you’ll have to decide to eat that 10%, pass it along to your customers, or some combo of the two.

Those of you running projects that haven’t yet started, I’d say that George’s 25% safety cushion should now be on top of the 10% we know will be charged, because you never know when Screamy Orange Grandpa will have an unsatisfying morning on the solid-gold toilet and declare in no more than 280 characters (and including several correctly-spelled words) that all tariffs on books are now 387% just because he hates books that much.

And, just in case you didn’t see it last week, you don’t even have to be involved with current-and-future China printing to get screwed. Case in point:

If you have done work with @KrakenPrint AND have inventory at their warehouse, contact the warehouse IMMEDIATELY!
The warehouse has put a lien on all #krakenprint inventory due to nonpayment. Contact info in link:…
#comics #indiecomics

The creditor, TWE, has put up a list of titles that are known to be in the warehouse over at Facebook; it’s not your fault, but if you don’t claim your stuff (and pay off part of Kraken’s debt), your books will be auctioned off. We should probably mention that it’s not TWE’s fault either, so please don’t yell at them.

Do your favorite creator a solid and read what’s at those two links, and if you recognize any of the titles, give them a heads-up that they need to contact TWE so as not to lose out. Also, if you know where any of the principals of Kraken are, there’s probably more than a few folks that would very much like to talk to them for reasons.

Spam of the day:

Treat your pain with COFFEE Stops Pain and Depression

This may explain why R Stevens is one of the sanest people I know.

¹ Thanks to KB Spangler for that perfect descriptor.

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