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U.S. trade offensive against China hits American sports industry
August 02,2018   By:Xinhua
Aug.2,2018-- "If we buy a Trump's favorite 'Make America Great Again' (MAGA) baseball cap, it's going to be from China. But thanks to the tariffs, the cost of buying the caps may rise dramatically in the future," Steve Zheng, a California retailer, told Xinhua on Tuesday.
The MAGA-embroidered baseball caps are not the only sports products that may be targeted by the latest round of tariffs on Chinese goods proposed by the Trump administration. Hockey, headwear and sports bags are all targeted for tariffs, according to the U.S. Sports and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA).
"Tariff increases back and forth between the United States and China are not good for American consumers," SFIA CEO and President Tom Cove told Xinhua in a recent interview. Trade tensions will hurt American consumers, businesses and workers, he warned.
On July 11, the office of the U.S. Trade Representative released a list of proposed targets for 10 percent tariffs on 200 billion U.S. dollars worth of Chinese imports. The new round of proposed tariffs may target sporting products such as backpacks, sports bags, bicycles, hats, gloves and some leather goods.
"I don't have a specific number. But it's a significant dollar amount and it's a significant volume of goods from China," Cove said. "The variety products that come from China including footwear, apparel, sports equipment, accessories ... (are) a large number."
"If this retaliation tariff goes back and forth even more, it could really be much much bigger," he added.
SFIA said it does not support this approach to trade and is urging the president to use alternative negotiating tactics.
"We believe that there are better ways to address the problems ... Going back to the negotiating table is the best way," Cove said.
"If this continues, I fully expect the industry to be hit harder," Bill Sells, senior vice president of government and public affairs at SFIA, said during a recent webinar. "As they dig deeper into China's exports to the U.S., there's little doubt in my mind that we will be targeted more in the future."
Tariffs may also hit the U.S. outdoor industry, an 887-billion-dollar economic force. It supports 7.6 million direct jobs and generates 65.3 billion dollars in federal tax revenue, according to the Outdoor Industry Association's 2017 annual report.
"Additional tariffs on outdoor products that are already overtaxed could have a devastating impact on outdoor companies and significantly raise costs for consumers," the association said in a recent statement.
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