BETHESDA, Md., June 20, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Fireworks are among the most widely anticipated traditions of celebrating our nation's independence. As the Fourth of July holiday rapidly approaches, the American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) testified this afternoon before the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) urging that fireworks be excluded from the latest round of proposed tariffs on products imported from China.
According to the APA, the proposed tariffs are taxes that will not only impact the U.S. fireworks industry but will impact local communities, nonprofit organizations and millions of Americans who celebrate their freedom each Fourth of July with fireworks. Julie L. Heckman, Executive Director of the APA, cautioned that "thousands of nonprofits and small municipalities nationwide will suffer significantly – their skies could be dark next Independence Day."
The APA formally requested that fireworks be removed from the proposed products subject to increased tariffs. Fireworks are not high-tech products covered by Chinese industrial policy and increased duties on fireworks would have zero impact on China's policies and practices. Ms. Heckman explained that "China is credited with the development of fireworks dating back to the second century B.C. and the discovery of gun powder and that the formulas used to manufacture fireworks remain relatively unchanged since the mid-1900s. Fireworks are made by hand, involving a highly-skilled, well-trained labor intensive process."
Ms. Heckman said that "APA members are patriotic; they bleed red, white and blue," and she urged the USTR to grant an exclusion for fireworks so that Americans across this great nation can celebrate their freedom this Fourth of July and beyond, by lighting up the skies and celebrating as John Adams wanted, "with bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other."
About the American Pyrotechnics Association
The APA is the leading safety and trade association of the fireworks industry representing manufacturers, importers, distributors, retailers, suppliers, and professional display companies. Founded in 1948, APA's mission is to encourage safety in the design and use of all types of fireworks, to provide industry information and support to its members, and to promote responsible regulation of the fireworks industry. Additional information about the fireworks industry can be found on APA's website at http://www.americanpyro.com
Julie L. Heckman, Executive Director
American Pyrotechnics Association
SOURCE American Pyrotechnics Association