Toy professionals will learn key information to help them address industry challenges including the latest sweeping tariff proposals by President Trump and how to combat counterfeit goods, during The Toy Association’s Annual Business Conference (ABC), taking place June 18 to June 19 in Minneapolis, MN, and co-hosted by Target.

In the following Q&A, Ed Desmond, executive vice president of external affairs at The Toy Association, explains how the Association will update and inform conference goers on regulatory and legislative issues affecting their businesses:

What will conference attendees learn about The Toy Association’s priorities this year when it comes to industry advocacy?  

Ed Desmond: The Toy Association has been laser-focused on several fronts including: fighting against tariffs on imported Chinese goods, combatting IP infringement, educating our members on the latest changes to state and federal laws, and working with international regulators to standardize toy safety regulations around the world.

With so many pressing regulatory and legislative issues that are constantly changing and  affecting our members’ businesses, we want to provide attendees with the most up-to-the minute information available, strategies to protect their businesses against these challenges, and a forum to directly ask us questions.

Will there be a session at the conference that specifically addresses tariffs?

Ed Desmond: Yes, “China Tariffs: An Update from DC,”  will take place on June 19 from 1 to 2 p.m. Toy Association staff will share the latest updates about the U.S.-China trade war, potential future scenarios, and what toy professionals can do to reduce the impact on their companies.

As The Toy Association continues to aggressively oppose tariffs, we want to remind the industry to join the fight. And there a few simple ways to get involved, like signing our grassroots letter that will be sent to your local congressman and senators to inform them of the harmful impact of tariffs on your company. 

What other advocacy and regulatory seminars are planned for the conference?

Ed Desmond: Additional seminar highlights include:

  • “Knock it Off! Keeping Counterfeits Off the Marketplaces,” on June 18 from 10 to 11 a.m., providing attendees with cost-effective strategies to combat counterfeits online.
  • “CPSC Compliance Update,” on June 18 from 12 to 1 p.m., sharing what companies need to do to ensure they comply with CPSC when it comes to import surveillance, third-party testing, reporting product incidents, and other issues.
  • “The ABCs of Brand Protection: A Case Study,” on June 18 from 2 to 3 p.m., educating companies on how they can get ahead of counterfeiters, including lessons on what worked and what didn’t to protect brands against infringers.

Additional seminars will cover the future of retail, importing, branding, licensing, product innovation, sustainable sourcing, digital marketing, credit and financing topics, and more. Presenters include Target executives, The NPD Group, toy industry CEOs, CIT Commercial Services, and others.

For the full conference agenda, industry professionals may visit