All posts by Travel Goods

TGA Victory on Vietnam Tariffs…for Now

TGA Victory on Vietnam Tariffs…for Now

On January 15, the office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced that it is “not taking any specific actions in connection with the findings at this time” with respect to its Section 301 Tariff Investigation against Vietnam on currency, even though USTR found that Vietnam is manipulating its currency. TGA strongly opposed the imposition of tariffs in the USTR timber and currency investigations, testifying at USTR public hearings held on December 28 and December 29. There were concerns that outgoing President Trump would impose punitive tariffs on U.S. imports from Vietnam (as high as 25%) before he left office on Jan. 20, 2021. Note that USTR has not announced any decision in the Section 301 timber investigation. Vietnam is the #2 supplier of travel goods to the U.S. market. In the first eleven months of 2020, U.S. travel goods imports from Vietnam increased 12.3%, with Vietnam supplying 19.3% of all U.S. travel goods imports during that period.

Your Membership is PACKED with Value

Your Membership is PACKED with Value

Just as the travel goods industry evolved over the course of the last year, so did your TGA membership. You talked and we listened. Your 2021 membership abounds with brand-new FREE benefits, all with one goal in mind – to increase your profitability and improve your bottom line.

  • The Travel Goods HUB is a year-round, one-stop online directory of travel goods products. Updated on a quarterly basis, the HUB features the freshest travel gear – before it even hits the market – on unique profile pages with clickable content, seamlessly transforming browsers into buyers. Get connected to everyone you need to know, all in one place. Learn more and reserve your page here.
  • Packed in a Minute is an opportunity for manufacturer members to introduce products directly to the industry in short videos with their best “elevator pitch!” This new free TGA member benefit will allow buyers to peruse new products quickly and gather high-level product overviews. These videos will live on the Travel Goods Showcase website.

To renew your TGA membership today – or become a member for the first time – contact Membership Director Cathy Trecartin at cat@travel-goods.org.

REMINDER: Congress Allows GSP to Expire, Meaning Full Duties on U.S. Imports from GSP Countries Starting Jan. 1

REMINDER: Congress Allows GSP to Expire, Meaning Full Duties on U.S. Imports from GSP Countries Starting Jan. 1

On Dec. 21, Congress adjourned for the year without extending the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) trade preference program. As a result, GSP expired on Dec. 31, 2020, meaning that U.S. travel goods imports from a wide range of developing countries, including Thailand, Cambodia, Burma (Myanmar), Indonesia, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Pakistan no longer enter the U.S. duty-free starting Jan. 1, 2021. In response, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued the following instructions, which enables importers to retain the right to collect refunds of duties paid if GSP is retroactively renewed. In the first eleven months of 2020, U.S. travel goods imports from GSP countries increased 10.7%, supplying 15.0% of all U.S. travel goods imports during that period. TGA urges you to write your members of Congress to urge them to retroactively renew GSP as soon as possible. It only takes a couple of minutes.

U.S. Travel Goods Imports Continued to Fall in First Eleven Months of 2020, Led by Declines in Imports from China

U.S. Travel Goods Imports Continued to Fall in First Eleven Months of 2020, Led by Declines in Imports from China

On January 7, the U.S. government published import data for November 2020. U.S. travel goods imports (as described under HTS Heading 4202 – click links to get specific import data on luggagebackpacks, flatgoods, handbags, business cases/laptop bags, and travel bags) slid 22.8% (by volume) in the first eleven 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 eleven months of 2020, U.S. travel goods imports from China fell 35.4%, with China accounting for only 57.6% 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 (12.3%), #3 Cambodia (9.3%), and #4 Burma (Myanmar) surged in the first eleven months of 2020. In fact, U.S. travel goods imports from Vietnam now account for 19.3% of all U.S. travel goods imports, followed by #3 Cambodia (7.2%), #4 Burma (Myanmar) (3.9%), #5 India (3.4%), and #6 Indonesia (1.4%). U.S. imports of travel goods account for approximately 99% of the U.S. travel goods market.

TGA is Working for You

TGA is Working for You

As the new year begins, TGA is working harder than ever to provide valuable services and support to our members and the travel goods industry as a whole. We are optimistic about a travel surge in 2021, but we need your help. A stronger Association means greater support for our industry. Please renew your TGA membership today. To do so, or with questions, contact TGA’s Membership Director Cathy Trecartin at cat@travel-goods.org.

TGA is Working for You

TGA is Working for You

Click Here To Renew Online
 

January 4, 2021

As a result of the pandemic, we have lost iconic retailers, suffered lay-offs, and endured tragedies. While we mourn our losses, TGA continues to work every day to help our retailers and manufacturers. And we remain hopeful about the future.

Two promising new vaccines are testing at 95% effective, two more are in phase 3 trials, and over 4 million Americans have already received a COVID vaccination. And, President Trump just signed a $900 billion pandemic relief bill which among other provisions provides for direct payments of $600 to individuals, extends unemployment benefits, provides funds for the distribution of vaccines, and provides funds for schools and businesses. Longing for air travel has become nearly universal. One recent survey indicated that 95% of Americans miss traveling, and plan to travel again when COVID-19 travel restrictions are relaxed.

During this past year, TGA has served as a focal point for information about business relief programs, COVID-19 products, and local and national regulations. As the world sheltered in place, TGA took Showcase magazine digital, recognizing that work, shopping and socializing had moved online. We reported on the best new technology to help brick-and-mortar retailers capture internet sales, expanded reach and impact for manufacturers promoting new products, and negotiated deeper FedEx shipping discounts for all members.

TGA joined forces with the American Apparel & Footwear Association and other major business councils and secured business protection in the CARES act, including essential funding through the Paycheck Protection Program and critical temporary deferrals on tariffs and payroll taxes. We will continue to lobby for additional grants and loans in subsequent legislation to keep Americans working.

TGA continued our 6-year campaign to protect imports of travel goods in the Generalized System of Preferences program, allowing duty-free import of travel products. Regrettably, Congress did not extend the program before its scheduled expiration on January 1, but we are working hard to get the new Congress to retroactively renew GSP as soon as possible in early spring. In 2020 we prevented punitive tariffs on travel goods from Europe, Thailand, and Indonesia, and obtained tariff exclusions for certain travel goods from China.

We cheered and publicized the resourcefulness and philanthropy of the travel goods industry, as businesses responded to the crisis with donations and innovation. Our members received product placement in front of millions of readers in major media outlets such as Fox News, the Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post, as well as popular blogs and travel and fashion influencers.

TGA hosted one of the very last trade shows in the U.S. before the pandemic shut down convention centers across the country, and while The Travel Goods Show will take a hiatus in Spring of 2021, it will be back in full force in Spring of 2022 when the industry is safely on the other side of this crisis.

In March, TGA will launch the Travel Goods HUB, a new way for retailers to stay informed and suppliers to introduce new products in a dynamic and robust new format with quarterly content updates. All members will receive their own directory page, with cost-effective premium options available. Travel goods retailers will discover photos and videos of new products, search contact information, and scan product categories and trademarks. Think of it as an online marketplace that encourages connection and collaboration between buyers and manufacturers on a year-round basis!

Over the next month, we will introduce Packed in a Minute, a new member benefit intended to enhance the connection between manufacturers and buyers. We invite all manufacturer members to submit 60-second videos highlighting their newest products; these videos will live on the front page of the Travel Goods Showcase website.

We are optimistic about a travel surge in 2021, but we need your help. A stronger Association means greater support for our industry. Please renew your TGA membership today.

Best regards,

Michele Marini Pittenger
President
Travel Goods Association

Click Here To Renew Online

U.S. Travel Goods Industry Faces More California Prop 65 Notices; TGA Prop 65 Best Practices Guidance

U.S. Travel Goods Industry Faces More California Prop 65 Notices; TGA Prop 65 Best Practices Guidance

December 24, 2020 – 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 luggage (Notice 1), totes (Notice 1, Notice 2, Notice 3, Notice 4, Notice 5, Notice 6), backpacks (Notice 1, Notice 2, Notice 3, Notice 4, Notice 5, Notice 6, Notice 7, Notice 8, Notice 9, Notice 10, Notice 11), briefcases (Notice 1), duffel bags (Notice 1), luggage tags (Notice 1, Notice 2, Notice 3), crossbody bags (Notice 1, Notice 2, Notice 3, Notice 4, Notice 5, Notice 6, Notice 7), passport/ID/card holders (Notice 1, Notice 2, Notice 3, Notice 4, Notice 5), handbags (Notice 1, Notice 2, Notice 3, Notice 4, Notice 5, Notice 6, Notice 7, Notice 8, Notice 9), wallets (Notice 1, Notice 2, Notice 3, Notice 4, Notice 5, Notice 6, Notice 7, Notice 8, Notice 9, Notice 10), 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/carry bags (Notice 1, Notice 2, Notice 3), phone/tablet cases/holders/sleeves/dry 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, Notice 15), fanny packs (Notice 1, Notice 2, Notice 3, Notice 4), and travel bottles/kits (Notice 1, Notice 2, Notice 3, Notice 4, Notice 5, Notice 6), 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 companies 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://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, nate@travel-goods.org, 202-853-9351.

Stay Up to Speed with Showcase

Stay Up to Speed with Showcase

Earlier this year, Travel Goods Showcase underwent a complete transformation. Our industry’s No. 1 news source – traditionally paper and printed once a quarter – is now paper-free and live online. The benefits of a digital magazine abound, and our readership has excitedly adopted the new, interactive format.

Now that the Showcase editorial team has shifted gears to paperless publication, we realize we have a significant opportunity – to nimbly add content to our website on a more regular basis. This is where you – our readers – come in. We encourage you to share your company and product announcements with us. Were you recently featured in the news? Did you roll out a new product line? Are you hiring or searching for distribution partners? Tell us about it and increase awareness of your brand.

As we increase the frequency of our posts, we encourage you to add Showcase to your reading list and sign-up for the subscriber newsletter to stay up-to-date with industry news. Travel Goods Showcase strives to keep the pulse of the travel goods industry, and we are eager to deliver what you need to know, when you need to know it. With questions, please contact Showcase digital manager Kim Wong.

2021 Travel Goods Show Update

Important News from the Travel Goods Association

THE 2021 SHOW – THE TRAVEL GOODS HUB

December 16, 2020

During the COVID-19 pandemic our industry lost iconic retailers, suffered lay-offs, and endured personal tragedy. Now, in the last days of 2020, we see light at the end of the tunnel with the news of vaccine approvals and distribution. For this, we are grateful – and hopeful that our industry will regain its strength over the year to come.

The 2021 Travel Goods Show

Like all first-quarter shows, over the last few months we have been evaluating the wisdom of having our 2021 Show, scheduled for Feb. 28-March 2, 2021 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Our primary concern has always been what’s best for the health and safety of our staff, our exhibitors and our attendees.

We have been advised by the Las Vegas Convention Center that all large first-quarter shows in Las Vegas have or will soon be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While we briefly considered moving our Show to August 2021, in a survey our industry overwhelmingly responded that they prefer a first-quarter show. With that in mind, please know that while we don’t have dates to share with you at this time, we will come together again in March 2022 when we’re safely on the other side of this crisis.

The Travel Goods HUB

We have eagerly awaited the day that we can share the details of our newest initiative with you, our members. Over the past several months, we have been working hard to develop a lively, engaging online platform which will maintain and enrich industry relationships throughout the calendar year.

In March 2021, TGA will launch the Travel Goods HUB, a new way for retailers to stay informed and manufacturers to introduce new products. All manufacturing members will receive a free HUB marketplace page listing contact and brand info, with content-rich premium options available.

Travel goods retailers, consumers and the media will be able to look up company information, browse 360-degree photos and videos of travel gear, and search keywords, product categories and trademarks, all from the comfort and security of their home or office. And they’ll receive real-time updates whenever travel goods manufacturers introduce new products.

March will not be the same without our in-person gathering of the travel goods industry. But the cancellation of The Show allows us to expand our digital content and continue to develop a robust online presence of travel goods brands 365 days of the year. You can expect to hear much more about the HUB the first week of January.

We know it’s been a challenging year. We wish you a safe and prosperous New Year, filled with benefits of the travel rebound which we all hope lies ahead. We at TGA are grateful for your commitment to our industry. We strive to serve you, strengthen our industry, and unite our member businesses with one another. Please let us know if there are additional ways TGA can help you and your business in 2021.

Best regards,

Michele Marini Pittenger
President
Travel Goods Association