Proposed MTB Legislation Could Offer Duty-Free Access for Dozens of Travel Goods Items
Last month, the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) submitted its final report on miscellaneous tariff bill (MTB) petitions it received under the 2016 American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act (AMCA) to Congress. The final report recommends a few dozen travel goods items in MTB legislation that Congress will consider this fall. If approved, the legislation would provide U.S. imports of certain travel goods, and hundreds of other products, temporary duty-free access, no matter the source country. TGA will actively push Congress for passage of the MTB legislation.
U.S. Travel Goods Industry Faces More California Prop 65 Notices; TGA Prop 65 Best Practices Guidance
Over the last few months, dozens of new California Proposition 65 (Prop 65) “60-day” notices have been issued alleging that brands and retailers sold totes (Notice 1, Notice 2, Notice 3, Notice 4, Notice 5, Notice 6, Notice 7, Notice 8), luggage tags (Notice 1, Notice 2), crossbody bags (Notice 1, Notice 2, Notice 3, Notice 4, Notice 5, Notice 6, Notice 7, Notice 8), passport/ID/card holders (Notice 1, Notice 2, Notice 3, Notice 4), handbags (Notice 1, Notice 2, Notice 3, Notice 4, Notice 5, Notice 6, Notice 7, Notice 8, Notice 9, Notice 10, Notice 11, Notice 12), wallets (Notice 1, Notice 2, Notice 3), backpacks (Notice 1, Notice 2, Notice 3, Notice 4, Notice 5, Notice 6, Notice 7), cosmetic/toiletry bags (Notice 1, Notice 2, Notice 3, Notice 4, Notice 5, Notice 6, Notice 7, Notice 8, Notice 9, Notice 10, Notice 11, Notice 12, Notice 13, Notice 14), travel/garment cases/bags (Notice 1, Notice 2), phone/tablet cases/holders/sleeves/dry bags (Notice 1, Notice 2, Notice 3, Notice 4, Notice 5), fanny packs (Notice 1), and travel kits (Notice 1) in California that contained di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), Bisphenol A (BPA), and/or diisononyl phthalate (DINP) in violation of a California law known as Proposition 65 (Prop 65). The notices serve as intent to bring lawsuits against those that made and sold these products. Check out TGA’s member-only California Proposition 65 (Prop 65) Best Practices Guidance on the Prop 65 page on the TGA website at https://www.travel-goods.org. This member-only guidance details best practices in developing your company’s Prop 65 testing and warning label protocol, including recommendations on which warning label text to use, where to place the warning label text, and how to test for Prop 65 listed chemicals in your products. For more information on Prop 65, please contact TGA’s Nate Herman, email@example.com, 202-853-9351.
TAKE ACTION! Grassroots Campaign for COVID-19 Stimulus Relief
On September 9, TGA urged Congress to approve a new stimulus package ASAP, urging Congress to include provisions on: Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) extension/expansion; Trade credit insurance; Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) expansion; Legal liability protection; Return to work incentives; Healthy Workplaces Tax Credit; and Duty drawback for charitable donations. ACT NOW! We urge you and your colleagues to visit our Legislative Action Center and send as many letters as possible to your members of Congress and President Trump urging them to take quick action to support our industry during the pandemic.
U.S. Travel Goods Imports Still Down in First 7 Months of 2020 While Trade Continues to Move Away from China
On September 4, the U.S. government published import data for July 2020. U.S. travel goods imports (as described under HTS Heading 4202 – click links to get specific import data on luggage, backpacks, flatgoods, handbags, business cases/laptop bags, and travel bags) fell 23.6% by volume in the first seven months of 2020. In addition to the obvious impact of COVID-19 on the industry, the latest import numbers show the accelerating trend away from China. In the first seven months of 2020, U.S. travel goods imports from China fell 38.2%, with China accounting for only 58.4% of total U.S. travel goods imports. For comparison, in 2016, China accounted for 84.7% of all U.S. travel goods imports. Meanwhile, despite the pandemic, U.S. travel goods imports from #2 supplier Vietnam (18.3%), #3 Cambodia (33.4%), and #4 Burma (Myanmar) (148.2%) surged in the first seven months of 2020. In fact, U.S. travel goods imports from Vietnam now account for 18.4% of all U.S. travel goods imports, followed by Cambodia at 7.8% of all U.S. travel goods imports. U.S. imports of travel goods account for approximately 99% of the U.S. travel goods market.
TGA Urges Delay in XPCC Sanctions
On September 1, TGA joined other industry groups in urging the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to delay the implementation of the sanctions on the Xinjiang Production & Construction Corps (XPCC) from September 30 to January 1, 2021. The letter is not public. Please contact TGA’s Nate Herman for a copy of the letter.