China has responded to the recently announced list of products targeted for tariffs by The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) with its own retaliatory tariff list targeting $60 billion in U.S. exports. The USTR’s list, part of its Section 301 investigation, is under consideration for an increased rate of 25 percent, which is more than double the initially proposed 10 percent and which includes several products popular in the promotional products industry. Industry companies are reaching out to the USTR and to their legislators to oppose the tariffs and their effects on the industry.

On Friday, Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill (above, center) met with supplier CAP America Chairman and CEO Phillip Page (above, left) and President and COO Mark Gammon in a panel discussion in Cape Girardeau to discuss the tariffs and their impact on businesses in Missouri.

Speaking to the Southeast Missourian, Page said, “We’re very concerned about these tariffs, because it puts us in a position [where] we don’t know how to price our goods. In reality, this thing is a tax, and it’s almost like it’s unfettered in terms of where it’s going.”

Gammon added, “We will decorate between 15,000 and 20,000 caps today. To do that, we need 270 employees. This tariff directly affects our ability to be competitive at price.”

The newly announced Chinese tariffs would target 5,200 types of products and impose a 25 percent tariff on nearly half of U.S. imports to the country. Goods on the list include biodiesel, liquefied natural gas, agricultural products, copper, logs, textiles and other items.

Handbags, luggage, headgear and LEDs are among the promotional products and components included on the new list of U.S. tariffs. Machinery parts and a wide variety of fabrics are also listed. If implemented, the tariffs would raise prices for American consumers and promotional products companies and their customers. The action is not expected to adequately address the problems that stem from China’s unfair trade practices.

The latest list will follow the same regulatory procedures as the first one, including a public commenting period that is currently open until September 5 and a public hearing scheduled for August 20-23. PPAI encourages industry members to contact the USTR and urge them not to move forward with these harmful tariffs. The instructions for submitting a written comment can be found on page nine of the Federal Register Notice. All comments must be sent electronically via