By Steve Pasierb | President & CEO | The Toy Association
As a community that brings joy and developmental benefits to kids through toys and play, your Association and fellow toymakers are banding together to let President Trump know that his administration’s proposed 25 percent tariffs on all finished toys from our partner factories in China would destroy many successful American businesses – not to mention ruin Christmas, birthdays, and other special occasions for kids.
With the fourth list of proposed tariffs on $300 billion in remaining Chinese goods announced last week, The Toy Association, together with our Federal Government Affairs Committee, has redoubled our efforts in building awareness about the damaging impacts of tariffs. We reached consumer media through a national press release that outlines how tariffs are in fact taxes that are paid for by American families, businesses, workers, and communities; and spoke on the news (follow these links for our quotes on CNN, MarketWatch, Fox Business AM, and LA Times) – while we also connected toy companies with reporters working on feature stories.
We’ve been working the tax on toys issue since the original Border Adjustment Tax proposal was defeated more than two years ago. We have developed an aggressive social media campaign which will soon include a powerful video that builds on the emotional aspect of the issue. Follow us on Twitter (twitter.com/TheToyAssoc) and retweet our messages, or feel free to tweet your own messages on social media using #tariffshurt #donttaxtoys and #tariffsaretaxes. Visit and share our dedicated site,www.DontTaxToys.com, for more information (the new video will be up there soon).
On the advocacy end, we are in close communication sharing industry concerns and formal comments with the U.S. Trade Representative, and meeting continually with Capitol Hill offices where we have strong relationships and also those that have now received grassroots letters from our members. The Americans for Free Trade coalition, which The Toy Association shares a leadership role in, is also developing a letter for Congressmen Hurd (R-TX) and Murphy (D-FL), since their offices have been very vocal and bipartisan against tariffs and are new faces to the opposition. Once it’s ready, we’ll be participating in coalition Hill meetings to get signatures on the letter.
With all of that said, we need your help to keep the momentum going and to keep the industry’s voice front-and-center. Action items for you to consider:
- We are urging the entire toy community to voice their opposition to tariffs by quickly and easily sending this grassroots letter to their local congressmen and senators. As of Friday, our grassroots letter has been sent 1,600 times by some 460 individuals in the toy community. We need more voices to be heard by decision makers. We can’t overstress how important it is to fill out the online form, add in a line or two about your company, and hit “send.” It takes all of two minutes. Once your letter is in, share the grassroots link with all your coworkers, family, and friends. Post the link on social media. Get the word out there!
- Will you please share your company’s story with the press? If you are willing to speak to a reporter on the phone or on-camera about the harm that a tax on toys would have on your company, please contact Adrienne Appell, senior director of strategic communications. We have talking points on the issue to share to make this an easy and rewarding experience.
- We need data! Help us determine the impact of tariffs on our members by answering a short list of questions. This data will help us refine our messaging and paint a clearer picture for those elected and government offices essential to our success. Contact Rebecca Mond, vice president of federal government affairs, who will share the questions.
The Toy Association team and member representatives who volunteer on our committees have not relented in our fight and will continue to push back aggressively on everyone’s behalf. But we need everyone to join in loud and proud. Working together, we’ll ensure our message to the president is clear: #DontTaxToys.
Compliments of The Toy Association, a member of the EACCNY