A Not-So-Thrilling Ride For U.S.-Made Roller Coasters
China is growing its population. It's Connie, we've heard this before, what you might not know, is that within the next few years, China is predicted to become the largest theme park market on earth ride manufacturers in the US are set to play a big role in that growth. But the US China trade war means tariffs on everything from soybeans two parts for amusement, rides and some American companies are feeling squeezed. K ers were Becca Ellis reports pretend you're bullet hanging out in the barrel of a gun, the triggers pulled. And then you're hurled into the air at turbo speed. Zero to eighty miles in two seconds that's being on a rollercoaster made by s worldwide is like these organ jumbling rides have turned the northern Utah company into one of the largest amusement ride manufacturers in the country. Earlier in may Preston perks and executive director s was overseeing roller coasters bound for Bari, New Jersey, Pittsburgh, Chicago, and China in the center of the factory to massive white steel police part of a sixteen million dollar ride going up in eastern. China's newest military themed amusement park sons. You cultural park soon a truck will cut off these police to Los Angeles. Across the Pacific in an ocean container and arrive at the Xingdao port southeast of Beijing. That's when the customer will have to pay tariff of a little over twenty five percent. Her says there's going to be some sticker shock liver. Would they have thought that they'd have to pay such a high duty and tax just like sweepings cars lithium batteries and thousands of other goods roller coasters have gotten caught up in the escalating trade war between the US and China since last fall? Beijing has hiked up the tariff on American-made amusement rights twice potentially, costing customers in China more than a million dollars in extra fees. It's enough perk, says for some buyer's remorse to creep in there when our customers are having to pay more money because of added tariff, they're gonna look other places. And that's what they've done this year, only one Chinese customer has reached out to purchase a ride in past years. Prick says about half of their business came from China. John Gerner, managing director. Of leisure business advisers in China. He says American companies are known as the go to guys for high tech rides pricey, but worth it. And so they've been able to compete on the value of, of innovation quality of intellectual property characters and brands if the new tariffs stained place, Kerner, warns American rights could lose their appeal as Chinese companies are encouraged by Chinese, Dave Tolman is a right, packager at the company, one of its hundred or so, please, he says, it's not just the Chinese duties that have made the trade war such a bumpy ride for us NS with tears zone stealing aluminum affect us in this business a real big amount. That's two of the main things that we use since last March. When the Trump administration announced tariffs on all steel and aluminum imports the price of the metal parties by s has risen by as much as seventy percent. Perk, says they had to rethink parts of their supply chain, seeking out, cheaper steel for the ties at old roller coaster tracks together and for the walk. Quays for ride means we have to change our country of origin. We have to build things and other countries to avoid the tariffs since the mental tariffs were imposed last year. He says that work is now done closer to much of their customer base in China for NPR news. I'm Rebecca Ellis in Salt Lake City.