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Tariffs hit US outdoor industry

Tariffs hit US outdoor industry

Holiday sales must’ve gone up by now, but the US outdoor industry brands may have been hit by a slump this winter season.

Washington’s additional tariffs imposed on Chinese imports cost the industry US$1.8 billion more than expected from September 2018 to July 2019 as revealed by the Outdoor Industry Association.

Indeed US-China trade friction has brought about chilly economic conditions, industry forecasts even interpret it as ‘winter’ coming among American outdoor manufacturers.

A women’s outdoors clothing retailer located by the Rocky Mountains foothills in Colorado State, Krimson Klover is already reported to be losing revenue due to the trade tensions.

Krimson Klover, is a brand that encourage women to find their voice, live courageously and do the unexpected. It believes giving back makes the world a better place and that travel expands our view of the world. Furthermore, it believe in quality, sustainability and supporting women-run businesses throughout our manufacturing and sales process.

CEO and founder Rhonda Swenson expressed her dismay as she thinks that people will be likely to go out of business because of the prevailing trade row. It cannot be denied that they are in a very competitive industry and this occurrence is becoming one huge financial burden, taking the tariffs absolutely was a big blow.

About 95% of the clothes are manufactured by Krimson Klover’s four partner factories in China, with one in Shanghai’s Pudong, one near Shanghai and two in China’s southern province of Guangdong. True tp the label on its product which shows “Designed in Boulder, Colorado; Made in China.”

Krimson Klover employs five contract designers and number of sales representatives more than 10 people in Boulder. They have continued to work with their current factories for almost 20 years, noting how Swenson paid visit to China several times within that period.

Outdoor industry officials have said some businesses have already been hit “astronomically” and that small businesses are getting hammered the hardest by extra fees on Chinese goods.

In June, some 660 US companies, including 21 outdoor industry players, wrote a letter to US President Donald Trump to voice their concern about the escalation of the tariffs.

Meanwhile, Columbia Sportswear Company expressed its distress about the tariffs being imposed on them and the many other manufacturers in the same industry, saying that they will be forced to raise prices of their products.

President and CEO of Columbia Sportswear Company, Tim Boyle emphasized how this tariffs become a massive tax on employer and consumers and not China in a statement in August.

The Columbia Sportswear Company is an American industry leader that manufactures and distributes outerwear, sportswear, and footwear, as well as headgear, camping equipment, ski apparel, and outerwear accessories. Columbia’s rapid sales growth was fueled by its jackets, which featured breathable waterproof fabric and interchangeable shells and liners.

Founded by Paul Lamfrom in 1938 , the company is headquartered in Cedar Mill, an unincorporated area in Washington County, Oregon, in the Portland metropolitan area near Beaverton. Vietnam is Columbia’s largest supplier, and 25% of the company’s footwear originates in China.

Since 2014 Columbia has operated in China as Columbia Sportswear Commercial (Shanghai) Company as a joint venture with Swire Pacific Limited. In 2018, Columbia announced it would buy out Swire’s remaining 40% stake by 2019.

According to the Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis under the US Department of Commerce, the outdoor recreation economy accounts for 2.2 % of the US gross domestic product in 2016.

25% punitive tariffs have taken effect on a variety of outdoor equipment including backpacks, camp chairs, leather ski gloves, kayaks and bicycles as compiled and analyzed by the Trade Partnership, a research and consulting firm based in Washington DC. The said tariffs caused the tariff rate to double the rate compared to the previous year.

Patricia Rojas-Ungar, OIA vice president of government affairs thinks that the trade war is wreaking havoc on the American outdoor industry among many others. She believes that these tariff payments are essentially new taxes on American businesss and consumers forcing American companies to suspend new hiring close new product lines and absorb these unexpected costs wherever they can.


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