August 17, 2018 / 10:05 PM / 3 months ago

Walmart asks some beauty suppliers to consider sourcing outside of China

A Walmart sign is pictured at one of their stores in Monterrey, Mexico, August 8, 2018. Picture taken August 8, 2018. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

(Reuters) - Walmart Inc (WMT.N) has asked some beauty suppliers to consider sourcing products from outside China, as it looks for ways to mitigate the impact of a new set of tariffs on Chinese products proposed by the Trump administration.

In an email sent to some beauty suppliers on Aug. 7, seen by Reuters, the retailer asks if they have facilities outside China, and if not, whether they would consider investing in them, to broaden their sourcing ability.

Many cosmetics products like shampoos, lipsticks and makeup fall under the most recent list of proposed levies on Chinese goods.

Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove did not comment on the letter. He directed Reuters to Chief Financial Officer Brett Bigg’s statement on the trade tariff issue when Walmart announced quarterly results on Thursday.

Biggs told Reuters the potential impact of tariffs is difficult to quantify. He also said that one of the mitigation strategies for the retailer is understanding what suppliers’ plans and alternatives are for sourcing. 

“We are closely monitoring the tariff discussions and are actively working on mitigation strategies, particularly in light of potentially escalating duties,” he said.

Bloomberg reported Walmart’s request earlier on Friday.

Reporting by Nandita Bose in New York; Editing by Dan Grebler

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