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New data from Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) shows that gear brands have paid more than $1.5 billion more in tariffs since September compared to the previous year due to the ongoing trade war with China.
That number is expected to multiply once an additional 10 percent tax is enforced on outdoor apparel, footwear, and equipment imported from China. Makers of backpacks, camp chairs, and bicycles are already paying a 25 percent tariff that was implemented in May.
Yesterday, the Office of the United States Trade Representative released the full list of products subject to the new round of punitive tariffs of 10 percent beginning on Sept. 1. Outdoor products on the list include fishing reels and lines, skis and bindings, wrist watch parts, sunglasses, and more sports equipment.
Outdoor brands as well as trade organizations like OIA and Snowsports Industries America have testified that these tariffs only hurt American businesses.
“Broadly applied tariffs are not an effective tool to change China’s unfair trade practices. Tariffs are taxes paid directly by U.S. companies, including those listed below— not China,” more than 660 businesses—21 of those were outdoor companies—wrote in a letter to President Donald Trump.
Patricia Rojas-Ungar, OIA’s vice president of government affairs, said on Tuesday: “The numbers don’t lie. America’s outdoor businesses are paying an extra $1.5 billion in tariffs that are going straight into a bureaucratic black hole instead of being reinvested in jobs, lower prices and new products.”
Tariffs by the numbers
Trump finally admitted that himself by sparing some products—electronics and holiday decorations especially—from tariffs until Dec. 15 to keep the economy from dipping during the holiday season.
“We’re doing this for the Christmas season,” President Trump told reporters. “Just in case some of the tariffs would have an impact on U.S. customers. So far they’ve had virtually none. But just in case they might have an impact on people, what we’ve done is we’ve delayed it so that they won’t be relevant to the Christmas shopping season.”
Outdoor products in the delayed round include gloves, outerwear, tents, camping goods, and more.
OIA is hosting an event in Congress on Sept. 12 to share how complex it is for companies to switch supply chains outside China. Contact Rich Harper at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.