Chalk up another part of Minnesota life harmed by tariffs imposed in the US-China trade war: whitetail deer habitat.
At the Alexandria Echo Press, sports and outdoor editor Eric Morken reports in Tariffs a part of closing Hides for Habitat Program for 2018 deer season:
It has been well documented how the ongoing trade war between the United States and China has roiled the soybean market, but farming is hardly the only industry affected.
Now, habitat projects in the outdoor world are feeling the pinch, too. On Oct. 10, the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association (MDHA) announced it would suspend its Hides for Habitat Program for the 2018 deer season. Among reasons it cited was China's decision to add a 25 percent tariff to all deer hides entering that country.
China is the largest buyer of all U.S. hides for leather products. In August, the Chinese government proposed imposing 5 to 25 percent tariffs on $60 billion in U.S. imports to the country if the United States went ahead with levying tariffs on the $200 billion worth of Chinese imports. . . .
The deer hunter's association collects deer hides that hunters donate throughout the season and sells them to fur buyers who trim, salt and prepare them to be shipped overseas. The association said in a news release that the tariffs are one of a few factors that have forced them to suspend the program.
"As of August, China will no longer allow tanning of hides in the country, which did not allow enough time for tanneries to react and create new facilities in countries such as Vietnam," the deer hunter's association said in its news release. "A current oversupply of tanned hides from last year is also in the market.
"These factors have created a climate where little to no market exists for MDHA to sell their hides to the fur buyers and therefore leaves no ability for the program to make money for the mission of the program."
Read the rest in the Alexandria Echo Press. Morken focuses on the effect of the suspension of Hides for Habitat in the Alexandria region.
An older report by Bill Klein from February 2015 in the Minneapolis Star Tribune provides a statewide view of the value of the program. In Just what happens to that deerskin?, readers learn:
Minnesota deer hunters — well, the successful ones — are grass-roots suppliers to a multibillion-dollar, global industry.
Most never think about it, but long after the last venison steak from the 2014 season has been taken off the grill, the animal's hide lives on in the vast fur- and leather-apparel producer's network. Buyers, traders, sellers, salters, shippers, tanners, trimmers, clothing and accessory manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers all depend on the flow of deerskins. That flow begins with the pull of a trigger or the release of an arrow.
Hides for Habitat, a program of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association, tallied more than 21,000 hides in 2013.
That added nearly $200,000 to its whitetail habitat improvement projects.
Read more about the program in Brad Dokken's Hides for Habitat turns 30 in the Grand Forks Herald.
What will take the place of this private on-profit's revenue source for wildlife habitat?
Photo: A Hides for Habitat dropbox, circa 2006. Via the Brainerd Dispatch.
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