Sotheby's says tariffs on Chinese art won't have 'material effect' on results
In a regulatory filing, Sotheby's said: "In light of recent media coverage concerning the possibility of tariffs affecting our business, the company provided the following information: 1. Sotheby's does not support a U.S. tariff on works of art of Chinese origin. It has long been the policy of the United States to promote and encourage the international flow and exchange of art, and to exclude art from 'trade' and import tariffs. Sotheby's has joined with other major players in the art market to oppose these tariffs because they would harm the American market and impede the ability of our clients to trade in these objects. 2. Sotheby's does not, however, believe that the proposed tariff will have a material effect on its results. Works of art of Chinese origin that Sotheby's imported into the United States and sold in our New York salesroom are a small percentage of the company's annual sales. Since 2016, such sales were approximately 0.1% of the company's total Net Auction Sales. These results do not account for the possibility that Sotheby's might experience fewer consignments from United States based dealers who themselves may have difficulties importing Chinese works of art for consignment at Sotheby's. At the same time, Sotheby's is a global business and can shift prospective consignments to other locations to accommodate our clients' needs. 3. Even if the tariff goes forward, our Asia Week sales in September 2018 will be unaffected by it."