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Outdoor Industry Sighs Relief As Trade Tariffs Are Put On Pause

Hiker in Colorado
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Hiker in Colorado

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  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.

Copyright 2020 91.5 KRCC. To see more, visit .

Ali Budner is KRCC's reporter for the Mountain West News Bureau, a journalism collaborative that unites six stations across the Mountain West, including stations in Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, and Montana to better serve the people of the region. The project focuses its reporting on topic areas including issues of land and water, growth, politics, and Western culture and heritage.
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