November 03, 2005

Crapo: Trade Decision Benefits Ski Resorts, Businesses, Customers

Senator lauds Commerce Departmentâ??s ski clothing decision

Washington, DC â?? Idaho Senator Mike Crapo says a decision by U.S. trade officials to exempt certain imports of ski and snowboard pants from China from import limits will benefit ski areas and clothing distributors. Crapo wrote the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) on behalf of Idaho companies such as Sturtevants Mountain Sports of Sun Valley, Scott USA, Smith Sport Optics, Inc., Precision Mountainwear, Tsunami and Sun Valley Ski Tools, asking for an exemption in trade restrictions that could affect foreign-produced ski clothing, particularly ski and snowboard pants. Ski and snowboard pants were included in broader safeguards imposed on imports of trousers from China. The quotas were designed to remedy trade disruption concerns. However, there is minimal U.S. production of ski and snowboard pants. Therefore, the restrictions could have hurt Idaho-based businesses and resorts, which rely on overseas clothing production and U.S.-based sales of skiwear. After repeated meetings with USTR and Commerce officials, the U.S. trade officials granted the request by the ski industry, Crapo and other senators.Crapo noted unnecessary restrictions on imported ski clothing could hurt some of Idahoâ??s leading industriesâ??ski resorts and ski clothing distributors. â??There are several Idaho companies that distribute winter sports apparel. The import restrictions limiting ski clothing imports from China could have had an unintended impact on those businesses in Idaho,â?? Crapo noted. â??If the Commerce Department had not acted to exclude ski and snowboard pants from the trade restrictions, it might have resulted in the product not being available for skiers.â??The action from the U.S. Trade Representative and Commerce Department comes as welcome news to Idaho ski clothing manufacturers and distributors. â??Iâ??m pleased Senator Crapo has acted in support of this important issue â?? as imported outdoor apparel is critical to my customers and my business,â?? said Rob Santa of Sturtevants Mountain Sports of Sun Valley.