Promoting Sports & Fitness
Participation and Industry Vitality

SFIA Products and Services

SFIA President & CEO Tom Cove Testifies Before USTR

Date: 10/18/16

Silver Spring, MD, October 18, 2016 –  The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) President & CEO, Tom Cove testifies before the United States Trade Representative (USTR) at a hearing on expansion of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). 

“This was an important hearing for our industry; we’re very close to getting major tariff reductions on sports bags and backpacks for a lot of our member companies,” said Cove. “We made critical arguments in support of GSP expansion; hopefully the Government will act quickly.”

Under the current GSP expansion, granted by the USTR in July, tariff benefits were expanded to include sports bags & backpacks, but only those made in least developed & AGOA countries. Full expansion of the GSP to include 122 eligible countries would in turn encourage investment in developing countries as a way of assisting those countries in transitioning to a manufacturing-based economy. 

"Investment in BDC's is important to Under Armour's diversification of sourcing," said Peter Gilmore, Under Armour Vice President Apparel & Accessories Sourcing.  “We do not see our current sourcing changing if GSP benefits are limited to Least Developed and AGOA countries.”

Backpacks and sports bags imported from GSP-eligible countries would avoid tariffs of up to 17.6 percent.

The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) seized the opportunity to organize petitions for their member companies who produce backpacks and sports bags. Petitions were filed in October of 2015 and accepted for consideration in January 2016. SFIA members first testified before the ITC and USTR in March in support of GSP expansion.

For more information on matters related to the GSP program, please contact Bill Sells, Senior Vice President Government Relations and Public Affairs at bsells@sfia.org.

ABOUT SFIA:  The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), the #1 source for sport and fitness research, is the leading global trade association of manufacturers, retailers, and marketers in the sports products and fitness industry. SFIA seeks to promote sports and fitness participation as well as industry vitality through research, thought leadership, public affairs, industry affairs, and member services. For more information, please visit www.sfia.org.

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