Triblive.com, MEGAN TOMASIC | Thursday, June 13, 2019 5:46 p.m.
The 25% tariffs, which the Trump administration proposed in May, would hit a U.S. firework industry that relies heavily on Chinese imports — 99% of consumer fireworks and 75% of professional fireworks are imported from China, said Julie Heckman, executive director of the Maryland-based American Pyrotechnics Association.
“Fireworks cannot be purchased anywhere else in the world but China,” said Bruce Zoldan, CEO of Phantom Fireworks, referencing a statement made by President Trump encouraging companies that would be impacted by tariffs to move production out of China or into the United States or a country like Vietnam, The New York Times reported.
“It would take other countries years, if not decades, to come up with the formula and ability to manufacture fireworks, what China has done for over 1,000 years,” Zoldan said.
“I think the president certainly has a substantial reason why he wants to negotiate with China, and there are things he’d like to bring into a more level playing field, but I think there’s some product lines that don’t belong in the tariffs,” Zoldan said.
“It means that there’ll be less money or less merchandise available because people have budgets to work with,” Zoldan said. “They have so many dollars they allocate to their Fourth of July picnics.”