China has a monopoly on fireworks, what that means for the 4th.
By Kristen Gajewski
The 4th of July is certainly among the most beloved American holidays. We all have our own traditions cultivated from the time we are children that for us define the 4th. Barbecues, time with family and friends, baseball, maybe just a day off in the middle of summer and of course, fireworks! Beautiful firework displays light up the night sky from sea to shining sea as we all come together to celebrate what it means to be free. As you are pondering where to watch the best fireworks display on July 4th, those who put on the displays have other concerns.
Fireworks, a long standing American tradition to celebrate July 4th and other holidays, rely heavily on Chinese imports. 99% of consumer fireworks, like sparklers and 75% of professional-grade fireworks are imported from China. Obtaining fireworks elsewhere will prove difficult – the Chinese invented fireworks over a thousand years ago and it will take other countries decades to produce fireworks in that same way.
Firework company executives are pleading their case to the White House in hopes that fireworks will be exempt from the penalties that the President is threatening to tag on Chinese imports. As the penalties are not in place yet, fireworks were able to be brought in for the 2019 holiday – but consumers may see increased prices from vendors in anticipation of the taxes that will kick in over the coming years. Many orders for 2020 have already been placed so if a deal is not reached prior to those shipments arriving, companies will be locked into these higher expenses. Larger fireworks companies could be forced into layoffs, while smaller companies may end up closing their doors for good due to declining profits. Small towns with small budgets may no longer be able to afford firework displays, which could have a ripple effect as displays often help generate money for local economies.
The industry is actively lobbying to have fireworks exempt from tariffs, from securing meetings with the president and his staff to testifying at public hearing, to signing petitions. However there is no guarantee as fireworks are used for entertainment and won’t fall into the same category as a machine part or component that may be more necessary to livelihood.
Taylor Logistics wishes everyone a safe and happy 4th of July holiday. Here’s to hoping that you will enjoy fireworks this year, and for many more years to come.