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U.S. Apparel Industry Counters Administration’s Claim that Tariff Delay Will Help Holiday Season Shoppers

The American Apparel & Footwear Association is trying to dispel the notion that the Trump administration’s decision to delay until 15 December the imposition of an additional 10 percent tariff on a range of products from mainland China will alleviate the impact of the tariffs on Christmas holiday shoppers in the United States. The association indicates in a 15 August press release that an analysis of the lists of products that will face the 10 percent tariff on 1 September and 15 December shows that:

  • 77 percent of all apparel, footwear and home textile products imported to the United States from mainland China, amounting to approximately US$39 billion worth of goods, will face the additional tariff on 1 September; and
  • 23 percent of all apparel, footwear and home textile products imported to the United States from mainland China, amounting to approximately US$12 billion worth of goods, will face the additional tariff on 15 December.

In the case of apparel alone, Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A.’s calculations suggest that 91.6 percent of total U.S. apparel imports from mainland China in 2018 as well as 93.0 percent of total U.S. apparel imports from the mainland during January-June 2019 will face the additional tariff on 1 September, while only 8.4 percent of apparel imports in 2018 and 7.0 percent of apparel imports during January-June 2019 will face the additional tariff on 15 December.

AAFA President and CEO Rick Helfenbein believes the administration’s action is by no means “a win or a de-escalation.” While the administration claims to have removed various products from the final lists for reasons of health, safety, national security and other factors, Helfenbein observed that “it is hard to see how this logic was applied since items like infant apparel, allergy-resistant bedding, and protective footwear are still on the list.”

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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