The world is rallying around the COVID-19 response, and so is the travel goods industry. Companies springing into action to produce personal protective equipment and other items to combat COVID-19 include AVIATOR USA, Everest Trading, Prima USA Travel, Kalencom, KeySmart, World Richman Mfg. and YaY Novelty. Read about these companies, and their products, on TGA’s resource list. And please let us know about your COVID-19 efforts! Contact Cathy Trecartin, firstname.lastname@example.org, 877-842-1938, x-702.
Today, May 7, 30 leading travel goods CEOs sent a letter to President Trump and Congress urging them to 1) fix the duty deferral so it helps our industry and 2) reconsider denied tariff exclusion petitions on travel goods (particularly luggage) under the Tranche 3 China 301 tariffs. The letter focuses on the unique nature of the industry and highlights the devastating impact this crisis has had on a small industry, mostly comprised of small businesses who depend on travel.
On May 4, the U.S. government announced that it has granted new exclusions from the punitive China tariffs for 3 travel goods items (no luggage) – certain MMF backpacks (see description on page 8, #27; see petition), certain MMF sewing machine covers (see description on page 8, #28; see petition), and certain MMF carrying cases (see description on page 8, #29; see petition). Anyone importing products matching these descriptions no longer pay the punitive 25% tariff (until Aug. 7, 2020). Previous tariffs paid are eligible for refunds, retroactive to Sept. 24, 2018. The U.S. government also denied thousands of petitions over the last week. In fact, USTR has reviewed all but 313 petitions (out of 30,283 petitions submitted) – denying 28,544 petitions to date and only granting 1,426 petitions to date (a 4.7% approval rate). For travel goods, out of 868 petitions filed, USTR has granted only 22 petitions, rejected 865 petitions, with only 3 petitions still pending review (a 2.5% approval rate).
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) requests comments on whether to extend the exclusions granted under the China Tranche 3 tariffs beyond the current August 7, 2020 expiration date. USTR has granted exclusions only on 22 specific travel goods items to date, out of 868 petitions (see travel goods exclusions 44-51 on pages 17163-17164, see exclusions 18-24 on pages 23125-23126, see exclusions 27-29 on pages 8-9, see exclusion 5 on page 9922, see exclusions 31-32 on pages 6678-6679, see exclusion 5 on page 550). Under Tranche 3, U.S. travel goods imports from China are subject to 25% punitive tariffs (in addition to normal tariffs), unless they have been granted an exclusion. Comments are due June 8. TGA plans to submit comments in support of extending the exclusions.
THE NEW YORK TIMES
The manufacturing giant is once again turning out steel and cellphones. But job losses and pay cuts have left its people reluctant to spend – a problem the U.S. and Europe may soon face, too. READ MORE
Travel Expert Troy Petenbrink spoke with Fox 5 in Washington, D.C. to discuss what we can expect this summer in terms of travel and how to reduce risks…and have fun. READ MORE
The COVID-19 pandemic has upended our lives in countless ways. One of the clearest examples is its impact on travel. As Americans practice social distancing, vacations have been canceled, attractions are closed, and the tourism industry is suffering. Although we don’t know exactly when this will happen, travel will eventually become part of normal life again. READ MORE
HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW
Almost every business is reorganizing its operations in response to the economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Often, companies take a top-down approach to resizing based on a limited set of data such as earnings forecasts and competitive benchmarking. But following this playbook usually results in “wrong sizing” and demoralized employees. Instead, leaders should redesign their operations based on data provided by their most valuable sources of proprietary insights – their employees. READ MORE
CONDÉ NAST TRAVELER
A couple weeks ago, British expat Sarah Keenlyside went to a local restaurant in Beijing with friends. Before entering, their temperatures were taken, and the host asked to see their health passes, a personal QR code that can be pulled up on a cell phone, to confirm they were green. Here’s what else we’re seeing in countries opening back up – and the cautious measures they’re taking. READ MORE
From flight suspensions to border closures, the massive shutdown has cost countries billions of tourism dollars, airlines are running out of money and millions of people have lost their jobs – turning the tourism industry into one of the largest casualties of the coronavirus outbreak. Here are five charts that show the pandemic’s impact on the travel industry. READ MORE
The impossible-to-ignore, 2 billion strong platform is leveraging a massive sheltering-at-home audience hungry for new content to draw A-listers and turn its homegrown roster into bankable stars (with reality TV shows, of course). READ MORE
TRAVEL + LEISURE
Now that we’re spending nearly all of our time at home, we’re face to face every day with those projects we’ve been putting off for lack of time. Well, now that time isn’t the issue for most of us – even if we’re working at home – what’s our excuse for avoiding that overflowing junk drawer or bulging closet? What about that “spring cleaning” project we’ve been thinking about? After all, the calendar says it’s now spring. READ MORE
Missed last week’s issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.
- A Blueprint for Retail’s Return (NATIONAL RETAIL FEDERATION AND RETAIL INDUSTRY LEADERS ASSOCIATION)
- What Will the Future of Travel Look Like? TPG Asked 16 Industry Experts (THE POINTS GUY)
- ‘This is Not Okay’ – Sunday Was the Busiest Day for Air Travel in Weeks (MARKETWATCH)
- Three Reasons to Embrace SEO During the COVID-19 Crisis (ASSOCIATIONS NOW)
- What 60-Plus Global Fashion Groups Want Governments to Do Now (FOOTWEAR NEWS)