U.S. surfboard makers not so stoked about tariffs

Video Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on August 16, 2019 - Duration: 01:31s

U.S. surfboard makers not so stoked about tariffs

President Donald Trump's decision to slap 10% tariffs on imported surfboards convinced surf executive Sue Bowers to move factory jobs out of China - but not back to the United States, which was one goal of Trump's tariffs.

Yahaira Jacquez reports.

U.S. surfboard makers not so stoked about tariffs

Surfboard makers are getting caught in choppy waters amid a gnarly U.S.-China trade war.

When a new round of U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods kick in September 1st , the cost of surfboards will go up.

That has surf company executives joining a growing list of U.S. manufacturers and retailers shifting production out of China.

Earlier this week, Trump rolled back part of his tariff plan, delaying a 10% duty on items like cellphones and laptops to spare U.S. shoppers during the holidays.

Surfboards, however, did not win a reprieve.

Despite the tariffs, some American surfboard executives told Reuters they support Trump's trade policy.

Lisa Baertlein is in Venice Beach.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) REUTERS CORRESPONDENT LISA BAERTLEIN SAYING: "President Donald Trump is giving California surfboard makers something they're been asking for - for more than a decade.

Tariffs on the foreign made boards that have been crashing onto our shores and making it more and more difficult to build those boards here in Southern California." Last year, China accounted for 67 percent of the surfboards that hit U.S. shores.

But countries like Thailand and Vietnam have begun making strides in the low and high end of the market, with hourly factory wages that, according to Euromonitor International data, are roughly half that of China and as much as 19 times lower than in the United States.

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