Trade War With China Escalates, Further Increasing Tariffs on Outdoor Gear

By Rich Harper August 26, 2019

In another escalation of the U.S.-China trade war, President Trump announced on Friday that he would increase the punitive tariff on $250 billion worth of products from China (Lists 1-3) from 25 percent to 30 percent on Oct. 1 and increase the tariff on $300 billion worth of products (List 4) from 10 to 15 percent, set to come into effect on Sept. 1 or Dec. 15.

The president’s decision came after China announced that it would impose tariffs on $75 billion worth of U.S. exports.

“Enough with the shoot-from-the-hip trade war tactics. This last-minute tit-for-tat escalation of tariffs is hurting our consumers and businesses,” said Patricia Rojas-Ungar, vice president of government affairs at OIA. “Everything from jackets to backpacks to hiking boots will see increases in tariffs of up to 30 percent. American outdoor industry businesses are running out of wiggle room and are being forced to make drastic decisions—from hiring fewer new employees to closing. This has to stop, and real trade negotiations need to begin in earnest. These knee-jerk reactions have long-term devastating impacts on Americans, and we need Congress to stand up for its constituents.”

The administration has set up an exclusion process for products on List 3 that includes backpacks, sports bags, kayaks, camp chairs, camp stoves, leather ski gloves and bikes. Stakeholders have until Sept. 30 to file a petition to exempt products from the punitive tariff for one year and receive a refund on duties paid to September 2018. You can watch an OIA webinar on this process and how to file a petition here.

We expect the administration will set up a similar process for List 4 as early as mid-October. Will provide details on the process and host another webinar when the dates are confirmed. List 4 includes all outdoor apparel and footwear, tents, sleeping bags and other sporting goods.