Outdoor Industry Sighs Relief As Trade Tariffs Are Put On Pause

Dec 3, 2018
Originally published on December 4, 2018 5:35 am

The outdoor recreation industry makes up an important part of the Mountain West economy and it’s feeling relieved right now after President Trump and President Xi of China have agreed to pause their escalating trade wars for now.  

That pause is in effect for 90 days. It means products that would have been subjected to a tariff increase by the end of the year will now be spared, at least temporarily. 

Rich Harper, who manages international trade for the Outdoor Industry Association based in Boulder, Colorado, said this truce is, “welcome news for outdoor companies and consumers.”

He said a number of outdoor products had already been subject to a 10 percent tariff, including backpacks, ski gloves, kayaks, camp stoves, camp chairs, bikes and bicycle parts. Due to the truce, those products will no longer be subject to an additional 15 percent in tariffs at the end of the year.

Most companies had been absorbing the extra costs, Harper said, but if the trade war does resume, and tariffs go up to 25 percent, manufacturers and retailers will be forced to shift more of that burden onto consumers.

According to Harper’s group, the outdoor recreation industry in the Mountain West creates over half a million jobs and generates over $60 billion in consumer spending.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUER in Salt Lake City and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.

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