The Outdoor Industry Association is seeking input from its members by Tuesday, Feb. 15 on exporting to the Asia-Pacific countries of Brunei, Malaysia, New Zealand and Vietnam.
The four countries are negotiating with the United States to enter the Trans-Pacific Partnership and free-trade agreements. Singapore, Chile, Australia and Peru, which already have free-trade agreements with the U.S., are also scheduled to be part of the partnership.
OIA director of trade policy Alex Boian told SNEWS® that the association is helping the U.S. Commerce Department collect trade information in the categories of travel goods, footwear and sleeping bags between its members and the four vying countries.
“Our mission is to make sure for a strong negotiation that allows the greatest opportunity for U.S. outdoor products,” Boian said.
Last month, OIA collected data and opinions on U.S. imports from the four countries – such as which imports might be most sensitive to the outdoor industry and possibly require longer tariff expirations; or which imports would benefit the industry with a speedier path to free trade.
By Feb. 15, OIA is looking for similar feedback on direct U.S. exports to the four countries.
“If an outdoor company is making product here in the U.S. and wants better export access in Brunei, Malaysia, New Zealand and Vietnam, this is their opportunity to give input,” Boian said.
The U.S. government estimates that the four countries account for about $19.2 billion annually in industrial goods exports.
For now, the feedback is being requested only for U.S. direct exports.
“We are working with the Commerce Department to allow for submissions that would reflect a company’s exports between non-U.S. partners, such as footwear made in Vietnam that is exported to New Zealand,” Boian said.
OIA has a spreadsheet available where companies can mark their export priorities and provide comment. Feedback submissions and questions can be directed toward Boian at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-- David Clucas