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The Impact of Fireworks' Tariffs

Fireworks Firing Off

A large part of the consumer fireworks business is seasonal, but the non-holiday part continues to grow with each passing year. At this time, the annual economic impact is nearly $900 million in consumer sales. The Trump Administration is proposing tariffs of 25 percent on all imports from China that will in effect be an excise tax resulting in an estimated $200 million in increased costs passed on to the consumer at the point of sale. We believe the average American pays enough already in taxes and shouldn't be hit with an additional tax around the Fourth of July; potentially jeopardizing American's enjoyment of our national holiday.

It's important to understand that our only source for nearly all of today's consumer fireworks is China. Fireworks cannot be made with what we consider traditional manufacturing equipment, because the metals used during the manufacturing process can spark, which would pose a danger to those individuals and facilities manufacturing fireworks. Without question, the vast majority of fireworks today are handmade, and with today's regulatory and wage environment in America, consumer fireworks are very difficult to produce here.

The distributors and retailers who deal in fireworks, especially around the Fourth of July, are primarily small family-run businesses and non-profit organizations. The fireworks stands and tents you see in grocery store parking lots and on the side of the road in rural America serve as fundraising opportunities for organizations like school boosters, churches, and veterans' groups. With an unfair "Boom Tax," that will raise the cost of firework devices so significantly, we're hurting the very organizations that make up the fabric of America. The NFA is committed to doing all we can to save our fireworks and our members are fighting to remove fireworks from the list of proposed tariffs. We urge the Trump Administration to remove fireworks from the tariff list, because our communities and consumers can't afford the Boom Tax on fireworks and they cannot be reasonably made here. 

The National Fireworks Association (NFA) submitted the following comments on June 17, 2019, to the Section 301 Committee of the United States Trade Representative’s (USTR) office hearing, seeking exclusion of fireworks and other pyrotechnic materials from the proposed duties on the import of Chinese goods.

Download NFA Comments on Tariffs

Facts About the Economic Impact of Fireworks

  • The consumer fireworks industry has an estimated economic impact of approximately $900 million a year.
  • The proposed tariffs would result in over $200 million in an unfair tax that would be passed on to the consumer at the point of sale.
  • Every year, Americans consume approximately 230 million pounds of fireworks devices.
  • Firework shows provide considerable economic benefits to their communities. Consider the following for example:
    The Big Bay Boom show in San Diego generates upwards of $6 million in sales for local businesses; over $4.2 million for the local economy with an overall economic impact of $10.6 million. 
    In 2014, The Red White and Boom show in Columbus, Ohio had an economic impact of over $11 million and has brought an additional $175 million in revenue to restaurants and other local businesses over the last 20 years.
  • The American family will spend, on average, between $20-$30 on fireworks for the Fourth of July. 
    A 15-minute backyard fireworks display will cost between $500 - $1,000.