SFIA Relieved Sports & Fitness Products Are Not Target of Tariff Increases

SOURCE: Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA)

USTR proposes $50 billion in tariff increases on Chinese-made products

SILVER SPRING, MD (April 4, 2018) – On Tuesday evening, April 3, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) released a list of Chinese-made products that have been identified as prospects for tariff increases, based on the USTR’s Section 301 investigation. Through this action, the Trump administration intends to reduce the trade imbalance between the U.S. and China by targeting imports that are currently benefitting from China’s industrial plans, but have minimal impact on the U.S. economy. 

In all, nearly 1,300 products are targeted by the proposed tariffs, primarily in the aerospace, information & communication technology, robotics and machinery industries. A review of the products found that there are a few machines used by sports & fitness manufacturers in domestic production of their products, but no SFIA member products were directly targeted for new tariffs. Here is a quick overview of the targeted products:

  • Chemicals
  • Medicines
  • Some Rubber, Tires & Conveyor Belts
  • Iron/Non- Alloy Steel
  • Alloy Steel
  • Aluminum
  • Machinery and Mechanical Appliances (Including machinery used in manufacturing textiles & apparel)
  • Electrical Machinery, Television Image, Sound Recorders and Reproducers
  • Railway/Tramway
  • Motor Vehicles
  • Planes and Helicopters
  • Boats
  • Glass and Microscopes
  • Guns

The complete list of products facing the USTR proposed new tariffs can be found here: https://ustr.gov/sites/default/files/files/Press/Releases/301FRN.pdf

“SFIA is pleased that sports and fitness products were not targeted for additional tariffs, as part of the USTR actions stemming from their Section 301 investigation,” States SFIA Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs, Bill Sells. “SFIA is a strong supporter of free and fair trade, which operates best under limited barriers and open markets. We hope the U.S. and China can find mutually agreeable solutions to our trade imbalance that do not increase costs for American consumers.”

Before the tariffs can be officially enacted, they must be vetted and face a public comment period, followed by a hearing. Upon completion of this process, the U.S. will make a final decision on which new tariffs to impose. The administration’s goal is to reduce the trade deficit with China by collecting tariffs on Chinese-made products to balance out the estimated harm China’s technology transfer policies have caused the U.S. economy. 

While it is good news that the sports & fitness industry has not been included in this discussion, they remain a potential target for tariffs, should the administration move to punish China even further. China has already retaliated with new tariffs on U.S. agriculture imports in response to U.S. tariffs on bulk steel and aluminum imports. If the trade war escalates, the U.S. could seek additional tariffs on other imports from China, which could drag footwear, apparel and sports & fitness products into the fray. SFIA has joined other business interests in expressing its concern over the negative impact a trade war with China would have on our industry.

If you would like your voice to be heard, written comments must be submitted to USTR by May 11, 2018 for the May 15th hearing.

ABOUT SFIA: The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), the #1 source for sport and fitness research, is the leading global trade association of manufacturers, retailers, and marketers in the sports products and fitness industry. SFIA seeks to promote sports and fitness participation, as well as industry vitality through research, thought leadership, public affairs, industry affairs and member services. For more information, please visit www.sfia.org.

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