UK fashion and textile exports to the USA to face continued punitive tariffs
The US authorities last night confirmed that 17 fashion and textile product lines will continue to be hit with an additional 25% tariff. The tariffs were first introduced in October 2019 as part of a long running dispute between the US and the EU over subsidies to the aircraft industry.
Adam Mansell, CEO of UKFT, said: “This is hugely disappointing news. The impact of the additional tariffs have been devastating for UK manufacturers selling to the USA. We are the only country to be hit with tariffs on fashion products and the current situation piles even more pressure on companies already reeling from the impact of Covid-19 and the hugely uncertain trading situation with the EU. Waiting for the outcome of a potential free trade agreement with the US isn’t enough. We need the government to take direct action now to support our manufacturing industry.”
Simon Cotton is CEO of Johnstons of Elgin, which makes cashmere and fine woollen cloth, knitwear and accessories in Scotland. He said: “We are exceptionally disappointed that these tariffs remain in place and continue to punish our industry for a dispute which is completely outside of our control.”
Bill Leach, Global Sales Director at knitwear brand and manufacturer John Smedley, said: “This is hugely disappointing. John Smedley has invested heavily into the US market for many years, resulting in strong sales and customer satisfaction across a wide array of America’s finest retailers. We also enjoy strong following on social media from across the US and we are immensely proud of the excellent working partnerships we have developed with customers, clients and media over decades.
“Since October 2019, when the retaliatory additional 25% tariff was applied to all of our sales to the US, John Smedley has been forced to absorb this punitive cost in order to maintain the ongoing retail pricing of our collection and to maintain our existing proposition to our valued customers and clients in the US market. As a result, we have experienced significant margin and profit.
“The fact that British-manufactured knitwear has become embroiled in the longest running trade dispute in WTO history to this extent is deeply irritating, unfairly punitive and continues to have a deep and long-lasting impact on our business in the UK. Our connections to and with the airline industry are non-existent.
“Should this retaliatory tariff application continue, John Smedley will need to take some tough decisions about our strategy for the US market.”
The 17 fashion lines affected are as follows. Note: The additional tariffs apply only to UK manufactured products.
|HTS Code||Product Description|
|6110.11.00||Sweaters, pullovers, sweatshirts, waistcoats (vests) and similar articles, knitted or crocheted, of wool|
|6110.12.10||Sweaters, pullovers, sweatshirts, waistcoats (vests) and similar articles, knitted or crocheted, of Kashmir goats, wholly of cashmere|
|6110.20.20||Sweaters, pullovers, sweatshirts, waistcoats (vests) and similar articles, knitted or crocheted, of cotton, nesoi|
|6110.30.30||Sweaters, pullovers, sweatshirts, waistcoats (vests) and similar articles, knitted or crocheted, of manmade fibres, nesoi|
|6202.99.15||Rec perf outwear, women’s/girls’ anoraks, wind-breakers & similar articles, not k/c, tex mats (not wool, cotton, or mmf), cont <70% by wt of silk|
|6202.99.80||Women’s/girls’ anoraks, wind-breakers & similar articles, not k/c, of tex mats (not wool, cotton, or mmf), cont <70% by wt of silk|
|6203.11.60||Men’s or boys’ suits of wool, not knitted or crocheted, nesoi, of wool yarn with average fiber diameter of 18.5 micron or less|
|6203.11.90||Men’s or boys’ suits of wool or fine animal hair, not knitted or crocheted, nesoi|
|6203.19.30||Men’s or boys’ suits of artificial fibers, nesoi, not knitted or crocheted|
|6203.19.90||Men’s or boys’ suits, of textile mats (except wool, cotton or mmf), containing under 70% by weight of silk or silk waste, not knitted or crocheted|
|6208.21.00||Women’s or girls’ nightdresses and pajamas, not knitted or crocheted, of cotton|
|6211.12.40||Women’s or girls’ swimwear, of textile materials (except mmf), containing 70% or more by weight of silk or silk waste, not knitted or crocheted|
|6211.12.80||Women’s or girls’ swimwear, of textile materials (except mmf), containing under 70% by weight of silk or silk waste, not knitted or crocheted|
|6301.30.00||Blankets (other than electric blankets) and traveling rugs, of cotton|
|6301.90.00||Blankets and traveling rugs, nesoi|
|6302.21.50||Bed linen, not knitted or crocheted, printed, of cotton, cont any embroidery, lace, braid, edging, trimming, piping or applique work, n/napped|
|6302.21.90||Bed linen, not knitted or crocheted, printed, of cotton, not cont any embroidery, lace, braid, edging, trimming, piping or applique work, not napped|
UKFT has written to Liz Truss, Secretary of State for International Trade, requesting a meeting and demanding an immediate resolution to this dispute which has nothing to do with the UK fashion and textile industry.