“Toys are not a tool in a trade war,” says The Toy Association, as a revised date for the enforcement of new tariffs is announced.
After threatening additional tariffs on goods imported from China from the 1st September, the introduction of said tariffs for certain goods has been delayed until December 15th. The revised plan will divide the previously announced list in two, with tariffs moving forward for other items on September 1st, and items on the second list, which includes toys, affected from December 15th. Items subject to the new tariffs will be taxed at 10%.
“We’re doing this for Christmas season, just in case some of the tariffs would have an impact on US customers,” said Donald Trump.
The US toy trade was bracing itself for increased costs that would impact consumers in the run up to the industry’s peak season. The current reprieve comes as something of a relief, although the industry still has to deal with the many products already affected by the previous 25% tax on materials used to create finished goods. The Office of the US Trade Representative has also announced that certain products are being removed from the tariff list based on “health, safety, national security, and other factors,” and the toy industry is hopeful that this may reprieve certain currently affected components and raw materials. The revised date should also give toy companies more time to plan their strategy going forwards, in terms of production and shipping.
“We appreciate the administration listening to our concerns,” said Hasbro spokeswoman Julie Duffy. “We believe this will help mitigate the impact on US consumers this holiday season, and we value the additional time this provides our company to make further progress on our global sourcing plans.”
“A delay in tariffs to December 15th has saved the holiday season for many in the US toy and play community,” said Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of The Toy Association. “We appreciate leaders in the administration listening and we hope through the tariff exclusion process, the administration will provide further relief to the toy industry by eliminating all toys and toy-related components from these latest tariff lists. While we continue to support the goal of restructuring the US-China trade relationship, tariffs are the wrong approach.”
The Toy Association has been campaigning against toy tariffs for more than a year, keeping members informed on toy tariffs and publicising awareness of the negative impact on US companies, jobs, and families.
“With the majority of American toy companies defined as small businesses, any tax on children’s toys will deal a devastating blow to a significant number of smaller employers as well as impact both the retail community and families,” Steve added. “We will continue to advocate with the administration for solutions that can address the very real trade, intellectual property and business issues our nation has with China, while not placing the burden upon America’s toymakers, retailers and children. Toys are a source of childhood joy and a myriad of developmental benefits, not a tool in a trade war.”