We are the American Headwear Alliance, a coalition of companies and associations that comprise the cap and headwear industry in the United States. We strongly oppose the Administration’s proposed tariff increase to the headwear category (HTSUS 6505.00) in the Section 301 (Docket Number: USTR-2018-0026).
The current Administration has proposed levying tariffs on $200 billion worth of products imported from China. We as an industry strongly oppose the Administration’s proposed tariff increase to the headwear category of the Tariff list. As it stands, the tariff increase will raise average duties from 7.5% to 32.5%, undermining industry growth.
Protecting U.S. Jobs and Businesses
The Alliance supports the Administration’s objective to protect U.S. businesses, continue economic growth and bring jobs to the U.S. However, the proposed tariff increase would have the opposite effect for our industry. Imposing tariffs of this magnitude on headwear products does not meet the goals of this Administration to protect National Security, intellectual property rights and repatriate jobs. In our case, the tariffs will destroy many of the American businesses the Administration is trying to help.
Sadly, the infrastructure for the “cut and sew” industry moved overseas decades ago and would take several years to re-establish, if at all. The labor market for the “cut and sew” industry in the U.S. is virtually non-existent, and current labor costs in the U.S. would increase prices well beyond the proposed 25% tariff increase.
There are currently no operations outside of China that could produce the quality of goods at the volume output required by our industry. We have long, effective and mutually beneficial partnerships with trusted and industry-leading headwear manufacturers in China who are committed to socially responsible engagement with their employees and who manufacture headwear products in high quality, safe, modern facilities.
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