- Title: New York blazer business takes a hit from U.S. - China tariffs
- Date: 9th October 2019
- Summary: NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (OCTOBER 8, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF MARKO ANDRUS, OWNER OF A NEW YORK-BASED PRODUCER OF HIGH-END TERRY CLOTH BLAZERS, BASK POOL SUPPLY, SHOWING HIS PRODUCT BASK BLAZER FOR CHILDREN (SOUNDBITE) (English) BASK POOL SUPPLY OWNER, MARKO ANDRUS, SAYING: "Well, I was a New York-born business, and we outgrew New York, and we had, we really had no choice but to go overseas to continue making our products - for two reasons, number one, it actually wasn't even price, because our New York prices were really that good. But it was really just about capacity. Our New York factories were just unable to grow with us, and it forced us to go overseas. So, what I'm frustrated about is that I feel like a business that's growing, that has reached this inflection point, is now sort of being punished by these tariffs, where we're going backwards." VARIOUS OF WORKERS SEWING IN FACTORY THAT MANUFACTURE BASK BLAZERS (SOUNDBITE) (English) BASK POOL SUPPLY OWNER, MARKO ANDRUS, SAYING: "I understand the trade deficit. I understand the mechanics of this, but we're at a point where, you know, we have a couple of employees, and we're a growing business, trying to make it work. We get to this point that every business wants, where you now can't catch up with demand. You have to go overseas in order to make your stuff. And then when you finally do, and it starts going perfectly well, you know, the kind of the rug gets pulled out from under you where now your prices are going to increase by 20 or 25%." ANDRUS SHOWING HIS PRODUCT BASK BLAZER VARIOUS OF BASK BLAZERS ON HANGERS BASK MONKEY LOGO WIT RACK FOCUS TO BASK SIGN ON BASK BLAZER COLLAR (SOUNDBITE) (English) BASK POOL SUPPLY OWNER, MARKO ANDRUS, SAYING: "Our Chinese factory is scrambling. And they're scrambling immediately. And what they've done is now, they've said, 'look, if this becomes a bigger problem for you, then we'll move, we'll find a factory in Vietnam, and we'll make your stuff there.' And, so, they've gone ahead and done that, so that, so really, you're just going to be moving chess pieces around in this game in order to avoid these tariffs. And, I think you're seeing a lot of bigger companies, much bigger than mine doing that. And they're able to do that at the drop of a hat. But we're much slower." VARIOUS OF SKETCHES OF BASK PROJECTS IN BASK POOL SUPPLY SHOWROOM (SOUNDBITE) (English) BASK POOL SUPPLY OWNER, MARKO ANDRUS, SAYING: "I got my start knocking on doors in the garment district, asking for these companies to just make me a a pattern. That evolved into actually making a couple of blazers, than hundreds more, now thousands. So, that's wonderful, and that's a great American growth story. However in the last year, what's interesting is that, I've got from China I have this overseas pressure of tariffs, and from New York City and state, I have a minimum wage increase that has, in fact, closed three of my local New York City production partners in the last year." VARIOUS OF WORKERS SEWING IN FACTORY THAT MANUFACTURE BASK BLAZERS
- Embargoed: 23rd October 2019 16:44
- Keywords: Marko Andrus high-end terry cloth blazers BASK Pool Supply U.S. - China trade war tariffs
- Location: NEW YOR, NEW YORK, UNIED STATES
- City: NEW YOR, NEW YORK, UNIED STATES
- Country: USA
- Topics: Government/Politics,International Trade,Editors' Choice
- Reuters ID: LVA001B0DN687
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A New York-based producer of high-end terry cloth blazers says the U.S.-China trade war is blowing up his business.
BASK Pool Supply's owner Marko Andrus says local factories haven't been able to make enough of his clothing, so he turned to China. But now, with new tariffs, he is worried that might not make financial sense.
"The rug gets pulled out from under you," says Andrus.
Andrus came up with an idea for his new business at a pool, while sipping a drink and, as he puts it, "basking in the sun".
The name BASK was born, together with a logo of a monkey with swirly tail, holding a giant martini.
Andrus says, at $325 a piece, sales of his blazers went aflame, especially among Town & Country magazine subscribers and Hamptons-hopping fashionistas, and his business took off.
"That's a great American growth story," Andrus says. "However in the last year, what's interesting is that, I've got from China I have this overseas pressure of tariffs, and from New York City and state, I have a minimum wage increase."
For now, Andrus says he is absorbing the costs. But he doesn't know for how much longer he will be able to do that.
In the meantime, his manufacturers in China are moving to neighboring countries, such as Vietnam, to avoid import tariffs.
Like many U.S. manufacturers, Andrus says he hopes the trade dispute between U.S. and China ends soon.
China's trade negotiators are heading to Washington for trade talks that start on Thursday (October 10).
(Production: Emmanuel Tambakakis, Aleksandra Michalska)
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