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Seattle business owner says prices for outdoor gear have noticeably increased due to Chinese tariffs

The owner of the Alpine Hut compared the trade war to the horror movie "Jaws."

SEATTLE — It has withstood plenty of economic storms, but the Alpine Hut in Seattle's Interbay neighborhood is still assessing how to deal with the latest one.

The shop specializes in bikes and ski and snowboard gear, which according to owner Kyle Fisher, will feel a blizzard of change this coming season.

“You’re looking a pair of ski gloves-- a $60 pair of ski gloves is going to be $80-$100," Fisher explained.

Fisher says he will likely see an impact, even if the trade war ends tomorrow, given the need to buy product well in advance of sale.  

It’s why he says, for small businesses like his, this is quickly becoming like an old horror story.

“It's kind of like the movie 'Jaws,'” he said. “Somebody is standing on beach in the office telling them, 'don't tell them it's a shark, it's spring break! We don't want to scare 'em!' Well, someone is gonna be scared when people start getting eaten.”

“Those tariffs that are being imposed aren't being paid by China.  They're being paid by me and you, and every person out there. Anything that comes of China has gone up 8 to 10 percent,” Fisher said.

He’s not alone-- The Snowsports Industries of America says there could be double digit increases on 2019 winter gear, based on the trade war. 

The organization is asking lawmakers to step into the Trump administration-led trade battle. 

The Washington Council on International Trade says China is Washington’s biggest trade partner, with $32.4 billion in two-way trade in 2018. 

The WCIT says tariffs are “upending norms and traditions around the world, and the ripple effects are spreading far and wide.”  

The Northwest Seaport Alliance, along with the Port of Seattle, sent a letter this week to the US Trade Representative saying exports to China are down 21 percent so far in 2019.

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