The Toy Association’s Pasierb Gives Keynote Addressing Counterfeits, Tariffs During China Toy Expo
October 29, 2019 | In its advocacy efforts to fight back against tariffs and counterfeit toys, The Toy Association continues to speak out on the topics at home and abroad. Last week, Toy Association president and CEO Steve Pasierb addressed a crowd of roughly 1,000 toy executives at an opening night celebration during the China Toy and Juvenile Product Association (CTJPA)'s 2019 China Toy Expo in Shanghai.
With the 15 percent tariff on toys imported from China set to go into effect in a little more than a month (December 15), Pasierb emphasized the negative impact the trade wars had taken on business, from companies' inability to plan their future business to the financial impact the threat of tariffs is already having on the toy community.
While there are still opportunities for toymakers to apply for exclusions from the tariffs, The Toy Association and its members continue to speak out on the paralyzing uncertainty, rising costs, and the full financial impact on the horizon for Chinese factories, American companies, and American families.
CTJPA president Mai Liang, who invited Pasierb to speak, also recounted the many actions taken by The Toy Association in Washington, DC, and through American media to combat Section 301 tariffs and signaled a deep appreciation of these efforts.
Pasierb then turned to the health and safety concerns posed by counterfeit toys. While tariff threats could create a vacuum allowing for an increase of lower-priced counterfeits in the marketplace, it is ultimately on the shoulders of those that manufacture, distribute, sell, and enable fake toys to stop the flow of counterfeits, said Pasierb. He added that e-commerce sites must also accept their role in the spread of counterfeits and prioritizing financial gains over the protection of children.
Addressing the crowd directly, he said, "I submit to you that ignoring regulatory guidelines, avoiding safety testing, and putting violative products into the hands of children is more than a wrongdoing. It’s a violation of the basic rights of a child to be protected from harm."
Pasierb also recognized the essential nature of factory and manufacturing partners in China, recounting decades of successful collaboration in producing compliant, safe, quality products, as well as the thousands of toy factories and millions of toy workers that have helped to build a vibrant industry. He also renewed The Toy Association’s support for workers’ rights through the mission of the ICTI Ethical Toy Program during his speech.
A full transcript of the simultaneous translated remarks can be found here.
The China Toy Expo is one of four concurrent trade shows produced by CTJA at the Shanghai New International Exposition Center. Other shows include the China Licensing Expo, The China Kids Expo, and China Preschool Expo. In total, the shows span 20 exhibit halls. The next show will be held October 21 to 23, 2020. CTJPA's 5,000 members account for approximately 60 percent of toy and juvenile products manufacturers and brand agents, and 30 percent of distributors, department stores, and chain stores in China. Its members also include licensing companies, design firms, educational institutions, and testing labs.