By Steve Pasierb, President & CEO, The Toy Association
On March 14, news surfaced that President Trump requested an additional $30 billion in new tariffs, which may include toys. The Toy Association is aggressively fighting this potential threat, working together with our Federal Government Affairs Committee and the Board Executive Committee to make sure that government officials know how dangerous this is for business and American jobs. There will be no winners if we and the toy community are thrust into a trade war.
The Toy Association has joined a coalition of hundreds of organizations that are opposed to these tariffs. We and others are contacting the White House, administration officials, and congress to urge reversal of the tariffs being imposed. We are also encouraging the coalition to activate grassroots and media outreach in opposition to tariffs. The first coalition letter to President Trump, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Treasury Steve Mnuchin, and National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow, can be read here. The Toy Association will be sending its own letters and holding meetings on Capitol Hill.
Let’s remember, most of the Association’s members are small businesses, many of them family-owned. At the same time, toy factories in China aren’t government-controlled. Again, nobody wins. Key toy industry operations such as design, research and development, marketing, and other key functions, representing 65 percent of total manufacturing costs, are performed here in the United States. The U.S. toy industry directly or indirectly employs more than 680,000 American workers in these and other functions. The viability of these American jobs would be undermined by the tariff increase. Consumers would be impacted as not all toy companies can absorb tariffs without raising prices.
We are also paying close attention to talk in Washington about the potential of new sources for tax cuts, rightfully worried that this might rekindle talk of a Border Adjustment Tax (BAT). Successfully pushing back on the BAT was a major accomplishment of 2017. Rest assured that we will fight both the tariff issue and any other potential form of taxes on toys with every ounce of our being. Be sure to watch for member alerts via email and for updates in Toy News Tuesday.
If your company has a government affairs function or a senior person who can join our calls, please make certain they are represented on our Federal Government Affairs Committee so that you don’t miss critical updates and developments on potential China tariffs. The Toy Association will be taking many more actions on this issue in the coming days and weeks.