Team Insight Extra

SFIA, Footwear Companies Object to Tariffs

With the U.S. trade war against China seeming headed into the summer, SFIA is brining the sports and fitness industry together in an effort to fight against tariffs on their products; program set-up to file List 4 tariff exemption petitions.

The USTR has announced that it will seek to impose tariffs of up to 25 percent on all imports from China that are not currently subject to additional tariffs as part of the ongoing 301 IP trade dispute with China. The USTR  has already imposed tariffs of over $250 billion in Chinese imports in three separate proceedings. The proposed List 4 covers the remaining $300 billion in Chinese imports.

SFIA maintains that these actions will harm the sports industry and many SFIA members. To pressure China into settling the 301 IP dispute, the USTR has announce an accelerated time frame within which it will consider whether or not to impose tariffs on goods appearing on List 4.

Based on this schedule, the USTR may impose additional tariffs on List 4 products as early as July. To assist members in mitigating harm caused by these actions, SFIA will coordinate and file comments on behalf of interested members and request that the USTR remove products from additional tariffs according to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) code of the imported product.  On behalf of members, SFIA will also testify at the hearing, file post-hearing comments and reach out to supporting Congressional offices.

Meanwhile, Nike, Adidas are among 170 footwear companies urging President Trump to remove footwear from a list of Chinese products that could be hit with tariffs. “The proposed additional tariff of 25 percent on footwear would be catastrophic for our consumers, our companies, and the American economy as a whole,” the companies wrote in a letter to Trump.

The footwear companies said that “there should be no misunderstanding” that tariffs result in consumers paying more for products. The businesses also said that “high footwear tariff rates fall disproportionately on working class individuals and families.”

The companies pointed to an estimate from the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America finding that the proposed 25 percent tariff could increase costs for their customers by $7 billion annually. They also said they can’t quickly move their sourcing from China to other countries in the wake of the tariff threats.

“While our industry has been moving away from China for some time now, footwear is a very capital-intensive industry, with years of planning required to make sourcing decisions, and companies cannot simply move factories to adjust to these changes,” the companies said.