The U.S. Government’s Chinese tariffs have not been popular with anyone that manufactures goods overseas. The bike industry has been hit extra hard, with Trek reporting the tariffs will cost the brand $30 million a year and force them to raise prices. That’s too much money to eat even for a billion dollar company.
The snow sports industry has come away mostly unscathed to this point. The majority of skis and boots are still made in Europe, with some exceptions of course. Even so, in its latest press release the SIA has called for action to oppose the taxes.
Ski accessories like gloves, helmets, hats and bags were included in the latest tariff roundup. It’s estimated that these items account for about $779 million dollars of retail sales per year. SIA president Nick Sargent testified before the U.S. International Trade Commission on Monday to get these items removed from the list.
In his letter to the U.S. Trade representative, Sargent wrote:
The products of interest to SIA are not the type of products that are the targets of the Chinese acts, policies, and practices of concern to the United States…
We are an industry selling widely recognized brands through specialty, community-based retail shops that are the backbone of our industry. Our economic vitality depends on tight margins throughout our supply chain and selling our products at a fair price each season. With even a slight increase in prices, the economic viability of our industry is in jeopardy and the impacts will be felt across our local communities and tourist-dependent resort towns, as well as by individual consumers in the United States.
We understand that there is no U.S. production of the products of interest. Thus, there would be no harm to U.S. interests in removing the products from the USTR list.
Snowsports Industries America (SIA) strongly opposes the tariffs on ski gloves, safety headgear, knit hats and sports bags, and we urge you to remove these products from the USTR list. Doing so will protect U.S. jobs and benefit consumers.
How can you help? Visit the SIA tariff action page. From there you can add your companies signature, submit a public comment to the U.S. Trade Representative and find out how to get in touch with your local Congressperson. All politics aside, whether or not you work in the snow sports industry, these tariffs are going to affect you. Gear will get more expensive, and no one wants that.