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.