Trump tariffs putting pressure on fireworks industry

RAPID CITY S.D. – Across the country, The United States’ 243rd birthday will be celebrated with cookouts, parties and fireworks. But amidst potential new tariffs, the fireworks industry is concerned about business fizzling out.

President Trump’s tariffs, announced during the trade war with China, are looming over the fireworks industry. The latest round slaps a 25 percent fee on $300 million dollars worth of Chinese goods including pyrotechnics.

Though the 25 percent tariff hasn’t taken effect quite yet, firework dealers in Rapid City say it could affect their operations for next year.

Douglas Bellinger, the owner of Extreme Fireworks in Rapid City said trade war could effect his prices next year.

“Anything we bring over next year unless they end the trade war, that’s going to be anywhere form 15-20 percent higher,” Bellinger said.

Almost 95 percent of fireworks are made in China. Bellinger also said the tariffs could also effect his product selection, and the quantity of his orders.

He’s also part of the National Fireworks Association. They sent a letter to President Trump, asking that fireworks to be removed from the tariffs.

“He didn’t do it,” said Bellinger. “We understand, we support the President, what he’s trying to do with his trade war with China, trying to get everything more level for us Americans, we’ve all got to sacrifice to get what’s right for everybody.”

Later this summer, the National Firework Association is meeting with Government officials in Missouri to hash out their concerns. Until then, fireworks dealers remain in limbo with the possibility of weaker sales next summer.

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