Proposed Tariffs on China Could Impact Sportfishing Industry

Alexandria, VA— The Trump Administration, through the United States Trade Representative (USTR), recently announced its intention to impose new import tariffs of 10-percent on an addition $200 billion in products imported from China.

The announcement lays out proposed tariffs on hundreds of importers categorized in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).

While many HTSUS subheadings are chemicals and raw materials, many categories apply to finished products. Several of those new categories would impact sportfishing products such as cast nets, apparel, and accessories like plastic rain gear, fishing baskets and creels, and inflatable boats.

New $200 Billion List of Products Subject to Import Duties

The full list of HTSUS categories proposed for these new tariffs on $200 billion worth of goods can be found here, starting on page 11.

How to Take Action

The American Sportfishing Association is asking members to review the list to see if any of your company products/HTSUS import codes would be impacted by this latest proposed action.

If your company’s products are covered by HTSUS codes on the list, and subject to the new proposed tariffs, USTR will accept public comment submissions received from you by August 17, 2018.

USTR requests that comments provide specific tariff subheadings, the level of increase in the rate of duty and the appropriate aggregate level of trade that is covered by additional duties.

Comments should also address harm to your business and consumers.

Comments/submissions must be in English and must be sent electronically regarding docket number USTS-2018-0026.

USTR states it will not accept hand-delivered comment submissions. The comment submission website is here.

The American Sportfishing Association will work with you to facilitate communication between you and your U.S. Senators and Representatives to ensure they are aware of these impacts.

Please let ASA know if your products are proposed for new submission to USTR should you submit comments.

For more information, contact ASA Government Affairs Vice President Scott Gudes at


In 2017, the Administration/USTR initiated a Section 301 (Trade Act of 1974) investigation of unfair trading acts and infringement of intellectual property by China.

Over $500 billion in products are imported annually from China while U.S. exports to China total only $130 billion. The Section 301 investigation determined that China was guilty of following unfair practices. Following unsuccessful trade negotiations, the Administration announced its decision to begin imposing tariffs on Chinese imports.

On July 6, 2018, the Administration levied a 25 percent tariff on $34 billion in imports from China and proposed a second list worth $16 billion.

China has responded by imposing its own retaliatory tariffs on $50 billion worth of U.S. products, for example against agricultural imports. The Administration has now proposed a new list of tariffs proposed for $200 billion in Chinese imports.