Wednesday, September 4, 2019
Volume 2, Issue No. 16

It’s Not Autumn, It’s Tariff Season

For three of the next four months, nearly all products imported from China will be slapped with new tariffs as the trade war rages on. List 4 products from China had their tariff rate raised to 15 percent yesterday from 10 percent, and tariff rates on List 1, 2 and 3 products move to 30 percent on Oct. 1. Finally, the second half of List 4 will see a new 15 percent duty on Dec. 15. Under the tariff schedule, approximately 69 percent of consumer goods purchased by Americans will now face import duties, versus an estimated 29 percent previously. The average tariff on Chinese imports has risen to 24.3 percent, from 3.1 percent in 2017, according to the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

Some experts suggest the financial impact on U.S. consumers ahead of and during the Holiday ’19 season will be minimal, given early summer shipments and retailer and vendor efforts to wring costs out of their supply chains or shift sourcing. But others aren’t so sure. American Outdoor Brands’ President and CEO P. James Debney, in outlining the company’s FY revenue projection of $630-650 million, told analysts that the company’s annual profitability will be negatively impacted by the tariffs. A 15 percent tariff on billions of dollars’ worth of Chinese goods, according to economists from the London School of Economics and University of College London, are estimated to cost the average U.S. family about $460 more annually. This fall, the cost of non-durables such as food items and apparel, are likely to be more noticeable than on items such as electronics.

Higher consumer costs for apparel, footwear, and some sporting goods has industry groups concerned about potential consequences to consumers and companies. Last week, the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) and the Americans for Free Trade Coalition fired off a letter to Pres. Trump urging him to postpone all tariff rate increases. At the same time, the Sports & Fitness Industry Association was notifying members about the List 3 exclusion deadline of Sep. 30 and informing them of the kickoff of the List 4 exclusion process. The deadline to submit List 3 exclusions to the trade group for review ahead of the filing deadline is Sep. 20. All complete forms should be emailed to the SFIA’s Chandler Hoffman. The costs to participate is $2,000 per petition for SFIA members and $6,000 per petition for non-members. The U.S. Trade Representative’s Office will review all submissions before granting exclusions on certain products within a 10-digit HTS code.