Trump claimed tariffs have no impact on Walmart. But the retailer has said it would raise prices because of the trade war.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with China's Vice Premier Liu He in the Oval Office at the White House after two days of trade negotiations in Washington, U.S., October 11, 2019. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File PhotoReuters

  • President Donald Trump claimed Thursday the punitive tariffs levied in a 19-month dispute with China have not hurt Walmart, the largest importer of goods in the US. 
  • But in May, Walmart warned that tariffs would “lead to increased prices.”
  • More than half of Walmart’s revenue comes from food and grocery sales, potentially allowing the retailer to manage pressure from tariffs. 
  • Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump claimed Thursday the punitive tariffs levied in a 19-month dispute with China have not hurt Walmart, the largest importer of goods in the US. 

“Walmart announces great numbers. No impact from Tariffs (which are contributing $Billions to our Treasury). Inflation low (do you hear that Powell?)!” the president wrote on Twitter, referring to the Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell. 

Trump often claims that foreign exporters pay the tariffs he has slapped on thousands of Chinese imports in an attempt to win fairer trade policies. But research shows those costs largely fall on American businesses, which can either absorb them or pass them down to consumers.

The world’s largest retailer posted third-quarter earnings that beat expectations earlier Thursday. More than half of Walmart’s revenue comes from food and grocery sales, potentially allowing the retailer to manage pressure from tariffs. 

“I think we’ve muted the impact pretty well up to this point,” Chief Financial Officer Brett Biggs said of tariffs in a call following the financial results. 

Economists have warned that tariffs would increase prices and cast uncertainty on business plans. Walmart echoed those concerns earlier this year, joining hundreds of other businesses across the country. 

“We’re going to continue to do everything we can to keep prices low,” Biggs said in a May call after the company reported first-quarter earnings. “That’s who we are. However, increased tariffs will lead to increased prices, we believe, for our customers.”

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