Outdoor Retailer - April 2021 - 6

THE PULSE
The Trump administration's
tariffs wholloped the
outdoor industry with a
$4.1 billion impact.

HEADLINES

Don't Forget the Tariffs
The U.S. government has levied billions of dollars in punitive tariffs
on outdoor goods over the past four years. Now, Outdoor Industry
Association and impacted companies are seeking relief. By Amelia Arvesen

6 OUTDOOR RETAILER

/ April 2021

the third and fourth rounds that raised fines
to 10 and then 25%. Some brands looked to
diversify their supply chain, while others stuck
it out by internally absorbing the additional
costs and/or passing them down to customers through price increases. The tariffs have
cost consumers at least $56 billion since the
trade war began, according to a tracker by
Americans for Free Trade. And OIA's latest report, in November 2019, measured the value
of outdoor products impacted at $4.1 billion.
BOCO Gear was one of the companies hit by
two rounds of tariffs-the first was 10%; the
second was 15%, for a total of 25%. CEO Kay
Martin says the company held off raising prices
until the second wallop. A BOCO hat that used
to be $25 is now $30. But it was most important to her to maintain the trusting relationship with the factory they've been using for
nine years and now only does business with

them. She felt that it wasn't moral to abandon the working relationship just to seek out a
cheaper price in another country, which might
have a whole host of other issues. " We just
didn't feel like chasing this penny, " Martin says.
Now that customers are more used to the
$30 price tag on hats-some competitors
reached $35-Martin says she doubts prices
will fall back if tariffs adjust. Regardless, she'll
continue to stay involved, and she's hoping
a larger hat manufacturer will add its voice
to the lobbying efforts for the greater good of
the industry. " We're trying, as an industry, to
bring in more people and be more inclusive,
and we're making it more exclusive with these
types of things that hit us, " she says.

BECAUSE THE TARIFFS REMAIN, OIA IS PLANning to press the new administration to develop a new exclusion process for companies

Pixabay

ANY OUTDOOR BRAND THAT RAISED PRICES
over the past year could have done so because
of pandemic stresses, but another root cause
could have been the tariffs on goods from
China. One of Outdoor Industry Association's
(OIA) priorities this year is to urge the Biden
administration to rethink the trade policies used to punish China for unfair business
practices, such as stealing the intellectual
property of U.S. businesses. Over the last four
years, OIA Government Affairs Director Rich
Harper says, the hefty fines have done more
to hurt many domestic businesses across numerous industries that rely on parts as well
as finished products from the Asian country.
" Uncertainty really puts a damper on innovation, " Harper says.
As a brief recap, the Trump administration
imposed four rounds of tariffs. Most outdoor
products, already facing high duties, fell under


https://outdoorindustry.org/ https://www.bocogear.com/

Outdoor Retailer - April 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Outdoor Retailer - April 2021

Outdoor Retailer - April 2021 - Cover1
Outdoor Retailer - April 2021 - Cover2
Outdoor Retailer - April 2021 - 3
Outdoor Retailer - April 2021 - 4
Outdoor Retailer - April 2021 - 5
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Outdoor Retailer - April 2021 - Cover3
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