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Tariff on Toys from China is harmful to U.S. Consumers–The US Toy Association

On October 16, Mr. Steve Pasierb attended the CTJPA China Toy Industry Annual banquet amid the 2019 China Toy Expo.

Steve Pasierb
ex officio, Toy Association Board of Directors
president & chief executive, Toy Association

During the event, Mr. Steve Pasierb made the point that adding tariffs on toys made in China is harmful to U.S. consumers and hoped the trade conflicts between the U.S. and China could be resolved as soon as possible.

According to data released by China Toy and Juvenile Products Association at the 18th China International Toy Expo, from January to August this year, the export value of toys from China reached US$31.524 billion, with an increase of 16.7% over the same period last year. Export to the U.S. was US$ 9.678 billion, an increase of 3.75% year-on-year.

Ms. May Liang, president of China Toy and Juvenile Products Association, expressed that in the context of rising challenges in the external environment, China's toy exports have maintained double-digit growth, which indicates that the Chinese toy industry is constantly improving its competitiveness in the international market and has strong resilience. However, the increase rate in exports to the United States is significantly lower than that of the overall exports, which shows that the Sino-US toy trade is “tortured” by trade friction. Since exports to the US account for 30% of China's total toy exports, if Sino-US trade friction continues, it will definitely have an adverse impact on the China toy industry and American consumers.

Mr. Steve Pasierb holds the same view. He said: "85% of the toys sold in the US market are produced in China. What happens in China is very important to us. In the past two years, the trade war has become the focus of the American Toy Association members, and we have been trying to oppose and resist the threat of tariffs all the time."

According to Mr. Steve Pasierb, affected by the previous rounds of US tariffs, US toy companies have raised toy prices on varying degrees, or tried to negotiate some discounts from Chinese factories, but the adverse effects have already emerged. Many companies do not know how to make future planning due to the unstable and unforeseeable situations.

Mr. Steve Pasierb stated that the toy industry has a feature that it takes a period of around 12-16 months for toy developers and manufacturers to introduce a new product to retailors, then put them mass production and launch the finished products to the market and reach consumers. Such a cycle requires the industry to have a stable environment and relatively foreseeable future.

“Adding tariffs and the subsequent chaos are causing us to lose this stable environment for product development and marketing and may also cause industry players to lose patience. The toy industry is in a situation where it should not be.” said Mr. Steve Pasierb.

Mr. Steve Pasierb predicted that if trade frictions are not resolved, the U.S. will continue to impose tariffs, and U.S. consumers will have to reduce their purchases of toys. “Tariffs not only have a negative impact on US companies, but also on Chinese toy factories.”

Mr. Steve Pasierb said that the US toy association has been trying to tell President Mr.Trump that it is a mistake to impose tariffs. “Many Americans think that China is paying customs duties. In fact, it’s not China, but American companies, American families, and some of our Chinese partners are bearing these costs.”

He said that for a long time, the toy industry has benefited both the United States and China, but trade friction has made many US and Chinese companies unable to plan their future. "In short, it is a mistake to impose tariffs. It is never a good idea to impose tariffs on toys for 6-year-old children."