Episode 670: The Santa Suit

Dec 20, 2017
Originally published on December 21, 2017 10:49 am

Note: This episode originally ran in 2015.

Santa only has one outfit, but it's a great one: red pants, red jacket with white fur cuffs, a big belt and shining shoes. People shell out upwards of $100 for a high quality Santa suit. And if that suit is made overseas, a chunk of that price tag might go towards tariffs. But to figure it out, first we have to decide: should the Santa suit count as "fancy dress" or a "festive article"? The difference can be make or break for a business, which is why companies engage in what's known as "tariff engineering" to make their products fit in one category over another.

Tariffs were the second law enacted by congress, and they're still causing strife. The laws that used to regulate the price of cast iron and tanned leather are now so complex that Santa's fur cuffs and toy sack are the subject of litigation. Marc Beige of Rubie's Costume Co. brought his case to the United States Court of International Trade.

We've got an update on the outcome of the case at the end of today's episode.

Music: Sunnyside Social Club's "Carol of the Bells."

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