In a letter to OIA members, Rich Harper, manager of international trade at OIA, said the trade war with China escalated last week as the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) released a new list of products from China that could face $200 billion in retaliatory tariffs.

Wrote Harper, “In what could be a major blow to the $887 billion outdoor recreation economy, travel goods, including backpacks and sports bags, bikes and some leather gloves, were included on the list of products that could face an additional 10 percent tariff. Apparel and footwear, however, were not included on that list.

“A public comment period on the list products is open through August 17 with a public hearing taking place from August 20 to 23 in Washington, D.C. The final list of products subject to a 10 percent tariff will be released at some point after August 30.

“Backpacks, sports bags, bikes and gloves–essential gear for many outdoor activities–already face import tariffs as high as 20 percent. Additional tariffs will only raise costs for outdoor companies and consumers and threaten the growth of the outdoor recreation economy that supports 7.6 million American jobs.

“The United States has already imposed $34 billion worth of tariffs on imports from China, with an additional $16 billion likely to follow. This latest list would bring the tariffs to a total of $250 billion. China has imposed tariffs of its own on U.S. exports and has promised to respond in kind to any additional rounds of U.S. tariffs.”

“OIA will work to exempt backpacks, sports bags and other outdoor product from to the list of retaliatory tariffs. Please contact me to share your story about how tariffs on outdoor products could affect your business and find out how you can get involved.”