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Industry giants warn of China trade war consequences

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Harlan M. Kent, Pure Fishing CEO, has warned that foreign companies will benefit from the US trade war with China.

Two of the biggest fishing tackle manufacturers in the US have hit out at the escalating effects on the industry of the trade war with China.

With many items of fishing tackle, including rods, reels and lures, about to become subject to the latest round of tariffs imposed by the Trump administration, the heads of Pure Fishing and Zebco Holdings – alongside the President of the industry’s representative body – have warned that the latest developments could see a rise in prices to the consumer and a detrimental effect on the industry as a whole.

At a public hearing on tariffs, Harlan M. Kent, the recently installed CEO of Pure Fishing, the world’s largest fishing tackle business, said: “If you remember nothing else I have said, US workers and US consumers will be hurt and foreign companies will be helped.”

Jeffrey Moore, of WC Bradley, owner of Zebco Holdings, said: “We believe the imposition of tariffs puts recreational fishing at risk of being taxed into a sport for only the wealthy.”

Glenn Hughes, President of the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), also voiced his concerns on behalf of the industry. “We understand the position of the President regarding the current trade relations with China and we support realigning the trade agreements to correct unfair trade practices,” he told the hearing.

“However, we are deeply concerned over the impact of these tariffs on all manufacturers who attempt to provide the equipment for what the American public calls its favourite pastime – fishing.”

The Trump administration has announced it is imposing a new 10% tax on $300 billion of products, including angling gear, on Sunday (September 1st) and that other products will be subject to additional tariffs starting on December 15th.

Since May, the ASA and many of its members have asked for exclusions from additional tariffs on sportfishing equipment, arguing that the industry already pays a unique excise tax that funds fisheries, conservation and access projects.

Details on the products impacted are available at the website of the U.S. Trade Representative. Use the codes below to access the relevant sections.

Products affected starting September 1st, 2019

9507.20.40: Fish hooks, snelled

9507.20.80: Fish hooks, not snelled

9507.30.60: Fishing reels, valued over $8.45 each

9507.30.80: Fishing reels parts and accessories

9507.90.20: Fishing line, put up and packaged for retail sale

9507.90.40: Fishing casts or leaders

9507.90.70: Artificial baits and flies

Products affected starting December 15th, 2019

9507.10.00: Fishing rods, parts and accessories

9507.30.20: Fishing reels, valued not over $2.70 each

9507.30.40: Fishing reels valued over $2.70 but not over $8.45 each

9507.90.60: Fish landing nets, butterfly nets and similar nets

9507.90.80: Fishing line

Filed In: Large Accessories, Lines, Others, Product News, Reels, Rods