Editor’s Note: The following op-ed by the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) strongly opposing President Trump’s latest round of tariffs on Chinese goods.
In a further escalation of the U.S.-China trade dispute, President Trump proposed a fourth round of punitive tariffs on $300 billion worth of products that cover nearly all remaining imports from China, including apparel and footwear.
These products will face an additional tariff of up to 25% if they are sourced from China and include hiking boots, hiking shoes, trail running shoes, skis, sleeping bags, ski jackets and pants, polar fleeces and all other apparel, footwear and sporting goods.
OIA and its member companies have actively opposed the additional tariffs imposed on outdoor products. OIA sent a letter to President Trump outlining the harm the China tariffs are having on outdoor companies and consumers and the outdoor recreation economy, and urging him to conclude a deal with China so the tariffs can be lifted immediately and no new tariffs imposed.
The administration also released details on a public comment period and public hearing in which stakeholders can weigh in on the proposed tariffs:
• June 10: Due date to submit a request to appear and a summary of expected testimony at the public hearing in Washington, D.C.
• June 17: Due date for submission of written comments.
• June 17: Public hearing begins in Washington, D.C. (likely will run several days).
• Seven days after public hearing ends rebuttal comments are due.
• Following the end of the public comment period, the office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) will publish a final list of products and a timetable for when a punitive tariff of “up to 25%” will come into effect.
It is unclear when the final list of products will be published and when or if the additional tariffs will be implemented. Negotiations between the United States and China will continue with the goal of a comprehensive agreement that will protect U.S. intellectual property and remove all punitive tariffs.
What You Can Do:
• Take action: Contact your elected officials, urging them to stand with the outdoor industry against higher tariffs.
• Submit your comments: Submit comments on the fourth round of tariffs during the public period. Go to regulations.gov, search “USTR-2019-0004” and click on “comment now.”
• Testify: Submit a request to appear at the public hearing on the fourth round of tariffs with a summary of your testimony. Go to regulations.gov and search “USTR-2019-0004” and click on “comment now.” You should also email a copy of the request to appear and summary of testimony to [email protected] Be sure to include your name and “Request to Testify” in the subject line.
Learn more: Join OIA for an in-depth webinar on the U.S.-China trade dispute on Thursday May 23, at 3:00 p.m.(ET). You will learn all you need to know about the latest round of tariffs, the products they cover and how you can participate in the public comment period to remove these tariffs.
The proposal to extend tariffs to apparel and footwear comes after the president went through with his plan to increase the additional tariff on products such as backpacks, sports bags, leather ski gloves, camp stoves, camp chairs, bikes and bicycle parts from 10% to 25% as of last Friday.
OIA is also an active member of the Americans for Free Trade coalition.