Sporting goods bear brunt of new levies on China

US tariffs targeting sports footwear and textile products will take effect on Sept 1. Apart from footwear and apparel, sports equipment, headgear and components are also tagged for new tariffs.
US tariffs targeting sports footwear and textile products will take effect on Sept 1. Apart from footwear and apparel, sports equipment, headgear and components are also tagged for new tariffs.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

SAN FRANCISCO • Sports footwear and apparel will be hit the hardest among many other athletic goods by the fourth round of tariffs to be imposed by the US administration on Chinese-made products, the industry said.

The whole sports and fitness industry will be impacted with many products targeted, said the Sports and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) on Wednesday.

The US Trade Representative (USTR) office had earlier released List 4 of tariffs on US$300 billion (S$417 billion) worth of Chinese goods. The new 10 per cent tariffs were set to take effect in two stages this year, Sept 1 and Dec 15 respectively.

While the tariffs for List 4A targeting sports footwear and textile products will take effect on Sept 1, President Donald Trump on Tuesday postponed the duties on List 4B, which covers cellphones, laptop computers and toys, to Dec 15, sometime after the start of the Christmas shopping spree.

Ms Grace Huang, president of the San Francisco-based Mandarin Business Association, said she has seen a remarkable increase in the prices of imported Chinese footwear since early this year.

Ms Huang's family operates a footwear factory in China and exports 30 million pairs of shoes to the US and European markets. "With the cost increased, US consumers will have to pay more for the same products," she said.

Apart from footwear and apparel, sports equipment, headgear and components are also tagged for new tariffs, said the SFIA, which represents more than 1,000 sporting goods and fitness brands, manufacturers, retailers and marketers in the United States.

 

Following a meeting with the USTR on Tuesday, Mr Bill Sells, senior vice-president of government and public affairs at the SFIA, said in a statement on Wednesday that there will be no grace period for the targeted products on the water after Sept 1. "Any Chinese imports not unloaded at a US port by Sept 1 will be subject to the new tariffs, unless they have received an exemption or exclusion," said the statement.

XINHUA

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 16, 2019, with the headline 'Sporting goods bear brunt of new levies on China'. Print Edition | Subscribe