OIA: Outdoor Tariff Pain Almost $3 Billion

America’s outdoor recreation businesses have paid $1.8 billion more in tariffs over the last eleven months (Sept 2018 to July 2019) compared to the previous period a year ago on affected outdoor products, said the Outdoor Industry Associaton. New data compiled and analyzed by the Trade Partnership includes the toll of tariffs on a variety of outdoor recreation equipment including backpacks, camp chairs, leather ski gloves, kayaks and bicycles, which are saddled with the 25 percent punitive tariffs, causing the average tariff rate on outdoor equipment to more than double compared to the previous year. Since the start of the trade war with China last year, outdoor industry companies have paid nearly three times the number of tariffs on outdoor products hit with Section 301 China tariffs for a total of $2.8 billion.

“The trade war is wreaking havoc on the American outdoor industry, among many others,” said Patricia Rojas-Ungar, vice president of government affairs at Outdoor Industry Association. “As we have said before, the numbers do not lie, American outdoor businesses have paid an extra $1.8 billion in tariffs since the trade war started, nearly triple what we paid last year. The punitive tariff payments are essentially new taxes on American businesses and consumers, forcing American companies to halt new hiring, close new product lines and absorb these unexpected costs wherever they can. The cushion is now essentially gone. We are urging Congress to get off the sidelines and help put an end to this destructive tariff policy that is hurting Americans from coast to coast.”

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“We are here in Washington to communicate to Congress the increasingly negative impacts tariffs are having on our ability to continue to grow American jobs, said Brent Merriam, COO of Nemo Equipment. “We are a small, founder-led business that produces performance outdoor gear including tents, camp chairs and sleeping bags. The punitive tariffs threaten our ability to bring these innovative products to market, with the end results being increased costs, limited investment in new products and personnel, and potentially higher prices for our consumers. We implore Congress to work with President Trump to end the trade war with China.”