OIA Trade Alert: President Threatens Tariff Increase

May 6, 2019

OIA Trade Alert: President Threatens Tariff Increase

Yesterday, in a series of tweets, President Trump threatened to increase tariffs on $200 billion worth of imports from China by Friday.

If the administration moves ahead with this action, it would mean that the 10 percent tariff that was imposed on certain outdoor products sourced from China, such as backpacks, sports bags, leather ski gloves, camp stoves, camp chairs, bikes and bicycle parts, would rise to 25 percent.

President Trump also called for a 25 percent tariff on a new list of imports from China that would total $325 billion and almost certainly cover outdoor apparel and footwear. The timing of those tariffs is unclear, though the president said it would come “shortly.”

President Trump appears to have called for this new action out of frustration with the pace of negotiations between the United States and China aimed at resolving differences over China’s intellectual property practices. A new round of talks between U.S. and Chinese officials is set to begin in Washington on Wednesday.

OIA and its member companies have actively opposed the additional tariffs imposed on outdoor products and called for an end to the trade dispute with China.

Last week, during OIA’s annual Capitol Summit event, over 100 outdoor executives traveled to Washington, D.C., and urged the administration and Congress to remove tariffs already imposed on outdoor products and support the Import Tax Relief Act, legislation introduced by Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and Chris Coons (D-DE) and Representatives Ron Kind (D-WI) and Jackie Walorski (R-IN) to establish a process to exempt products from these tariffs.

Until the president issued his tweets on Sunday, administration officials had indicated that positive progress was being made with China and that an agreement was very likely.

We must continue to vocalize our strong opposition to these retaliatory tariffs that hurt outdoor businesses and consumers. OIA will continue to directly engage with key administration officials and Congress. We will also continue to amplify the harm of these tariffs to our industry through earned media and social networks.

We urge you to take action by contacting your elected officials and urging them to stand with the outdoor industry against higher tariffs and to support the Import Tax Relief Act.

OIA is also an active member of the Americans for Free Trade coalition, a group of over 150 companies and associations organized to oppose additional tariffs on products sourced from China and dedicated to educating Congress and the administration about the impact of these taxes on U.S. companies and consumers. The coalition has released economic data that quantifies the jobs that are at risk and is hosting grassroots events across the country. You can find the most recent statement on the president’s threat here.

We will continue to provide you the latest intelligence as we learn more. Please contact me at rharper@outdoorindustry.org with any questions and to learn more about
how you can contact your representatives or share your story through the media.