If prices for brand-name bags swell on international markets because of tariffs, Lulu predicts it can only be good for Chinese knockoffs. “More people will think: ‘Why not just buy a bag here?’ ” she said.
The next wave of tariffs targets another $200 billion in Chinese imports, including handbags, leather and silk.
This prospect alarms both American fashion designers and global authorities, because U.S. firms already lose billions each year to counterfeiters. Officials also link knockoff sales to organized crime groups that exploit child labor.
“A tariff on a genuine bag is a subsidy for a fake,” said Susan Scafidi, a New York fashion lawyer focused on intellectual property.