SFIA

Promoting Sports & Fitness
Participation and Industry Vitality

SFIA Products and Services

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International Trade
Promotes Favorable Trade Policies for Industry

Summary of SFIA Activities on International Trade
The sports and fitness industry is growing globally and SFIA works to ensure that the most favorable trade environment for its members. SFIA pursues trade policies that reduce trade barriers and lower the cost of getting products to market.

More Information on International Trade
International Trade Issues monitored by the SFIA include International Trade includes trade policies, tariffs and duties, free trade agreements and Asia trade & currency issues.

Trade Policies & Agreements:
The SFIA is working to eliminate or reduce trade barriers on SFIA Member products through promoting trade agreements with partners that increase market penetration.

UPDATE: With the congressional August recess only a few weeks away, time is rapidly running out for legislative action on several major trade issues.  SFIA is urging that Congress take prompt action on key trade priorities for the sports and fitness industry.

CLICK HERE to read the latest stories involving Trade Policies & Agreements

Asia Trade:
SFIA is promoting the industry's interests by supporting free trade agreements with Asian countries.

UPDATE: No Breakthrough in Trans-Pacific Trade Talks with Japan

Notwithstanding attempts by Administration officials to portray April 23-24, 2014 talks in Tokyo between President Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as a “breakthrough,” the two sides failed to make any concrete progress in opening Japan’s agricultural and automotive markets.  That issue remains the single largest obstacle to successfully concluding a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement among the 12 participating Pacific Rim countries.
 
As reported, the TPP negotiations are expected to result in a regional free trade agreement incorporating high standards with few deviations from full trade liberalization principles for goods traded among the member countries.  The participating countries include the United States, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, Brunei, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Japan.
 
As advocated by SFIA, a TPP agreement could lead to the elimination of all duties on sports and fitness equipment maintained by each of the participating countries.  In one area of particular importance to many SFIA members, the deal could result in the phased elimination of U.S. tariffs on athletic and other types of footwear and apparel over a multi-year period.
 
In a related development, the continuing delay in the TPP negotiations means there is little pressure on Congress to move quickly to pass trade promotion authority (TPA) legislation.  As reported, trade promotion authority is a practical necessity to congressional approval of the TPP or any other major trade agreement since it protects the agreement from amendment and requires up-or-down votes within a specified time period.  While Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) has expressed readiness to move TPA legislation in the House, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has made it clear that, absent strong pressure from the White House, he has no interest in moving a bill in the Senate anytime soon.
 
The situation has evolved into something of a chicken-and-egg dilemma.  Japanese leaders will be hesitant to make the bold and politically painful concessions to open their markets to imported beef and other sensitive products until they know a TPP agreement can be concluded and ratified swiftly, which in turn will require that TPA be in place.  On the other hand, congressional leaders will see no urgency to take up TPA legislation that is so politically controversial (especially leading up to the mid-term elections in November) until they see that a TPP agreement is imminent, which in turn will require those major concessions from Japan.
 
The next meeting of TPP countries’ chief negotiators is scheduled for May 12-15, 2014 in Vietnam.
 
 

CLICK HERE to read the latest stories involving Asia

Want to learn more, contact Bill Sells at 301.495.6321 or at bsells@sfia.org.

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