How proposed tariffs could have affected fireworks sales over the holiday week

Wednesday, July 3, 2019
News 12 This Morning

Wacky Wane's fireworks are saying the proposed tariffs earlier this year wouldn't have affected their buying habits.

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Luckily for those celebrating the 4th of July Thursday, fireworks have escaped President Trump's tariffs on China, meaning prices won't go up right now.

Skip Playford has sold fireworks at Wacky Wayne's for the past 22 years.

"[I] just kind of stuck with it part-time for 10 years, and then I joined full time back in 2006. So since the mid-90s I've been doing this," Playford told us.

Over time, he's seen fireworks change -- from their looks to their safety features.

"The biggest change I've seen has mainly been the safety of fireworks better labeling, incorporating a safety fuse, which has a slower burn time that allows you more time to get away."

But one thing has never changed is that the majority of his fireworks always come from overseas, specifically China.

"The Chinese invented gun powder and they can make it cheaper, even with shipping it over here, it's just cheaper to have it shipped in," Playford said.

Recently, President Trump threatened a tariff on fireworks coming from China. Ultimately, it was not imposed, but if it had been then Playford says buying overseas would still have been cheaper.

"Even if somebody were to make them here in mass quantities, I think it would be even higher."

Playford says he doesn't see the trend of buying fireworks from China stopping anytime soon.

"It's cheaper, that's the bottom line."

Prices at Wacky Wayne's have not gone up in many years. Playford says if they do fluctuate slightly, they still try to keep their prices low for customers.

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