Christmas Bear

It’s a pre-Christmas miracle: the fourth tranche of tariffs on Chinese goods has been split, with toys off the table until at least Dec. 15.

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) issued a revised plan for tariffs, splitting the previously-announced list in two — 4A (Sept. 1) and 4B (Dec. 15). Items subject to the new tariffs will be taxed at the 10% rate revealed by President Trump via twitter on Aug. 1. Overall, 4A and 4B comprise more than $300 billion in goods produced in China and imported into the U.S. Earlier this month, widespread concern swept across the toy industry with fears that toys could see increased costs that would be passed onto consumers just as we enter the all-important holiday shopping season. The full list of categories including toys can be seen at the USTR website.

While the current reprieve is appreciated, numerous products are already impacted by the previously-enacted 25% tax on certain raw materials that are used to create finished goods here in the U.S. In addition to tariffs pushed into December, the USTR says that certain products are being removed from the tariff list based on “health, safety, national security, and other factors and will not face additional tariffs of 10%.”

The additional time should allow certain companies to continue making plans for mitigation, possibly by moving production elsewhere.

“A delay in tariffs to Dec. 15 has saved the holiday season for many in the U.S. toy and play community,” says Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of The Toy Association. “We appreciate leaders in the administration listening and we hope through the tariff exclusion process the administration will provide further relief to the toy industry by eliminating all toys and toy-related components from these latest tariff lists. While we continue to support the goal of restructuring the U.S.-China trade relationship, tariffs are the wrong approach.”

In June, Adventure Media and Events LLC — parent company of the Toy Book — joined The Toy Association, along with toy industry colleagues, including Aeromax Industries, Bachmann Trains, Basic Fun!, Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Co.,  Hape International, Imperial Toy, Learning Resources, Loog Guitars, Odyssey Toys, PlayMonster, Rubie’s Costume Co., Thames & Kosmos, The Learning Journey, TOMY International, Trek Bicycle Corp, VTech Toys, and Wicked Cool Toys, alongside retailers, such as Five Below, Go! Retail Group, JCPenney, JOANN Stores, Macy’s, Target, and Walmart, as part of a larger group of more than 600 companies and trade associations that delivered a letter to the White House with a message: tariffs hurt the heartland.

As always, information regarding tariffs on toys and games is very fluid, and the Toy Book will continue to monitor new developments with updates published here. Additional resources can be found at and

About the author

James Zahn

James Zahn

James Zahn, AKA The Rock Father, is Editor-in-Chief of The Toy Book, a Senior Editor at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider, and Editor of The Toy Report, The Toy Book‘s weekly industry newsletter. As a pop culture and toy industry expert, Zahn has appeared as a panelist and guest at events including Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) Wizard World Chicago, and the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy. Zahn has more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment, retail, and publishing industries, and is frequently called upon to offer expert commentary for publications such as Forbes, Marketwatch, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, Reuters, the Washington Post, and more. James has appeared on History Channel’s Modern Marvels, was interviewed by Larry King and Anderson Cooper, and has been seen on Yahoo! Finance, CNN, CNBC, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, CBS, WGN, The CW, and more. Zahn joined the Adventure Media & Events family in 2016, initially serving as a member of the Parent Advisory Board after penning articles for the Netflix Stream Team, Fandango Family, PBS KIDS, Sprout Parents (now Universal Kids), PopSugar, and Chicago Parent. He eventually joined the company full time as a Senior Editor and moved up the ranks to Deputy Editor and Editor-in-Chief.