Chinese tariffs will hurt sneaker business: Brooks Sports CEO

Brooks Sports CEO Jim Weber told FOX Business’ Liz Claman that new Chinese trade tariffs will be detrimental to the growth of the sneaker business.

“[Tariffs] would hurt consumers and it would hurt our ability to grow and create jobs,” Weber told FOX Business’ Liz Claman during an interview Friday in Omaha, Nebraska, a day before the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting.

China already imposes nearly 20% tariffs on imported sneakers, according to the American Apparel & Footwear Association.

“Our whole industry for almost 80 years has been 20% tariffs, so we certainly wouldn’t want to see more,” Weber said on “Countdown to the Closing Bell.”

Buffett is hosting Berkshire Hathaway's annual shareholder meeting this weekend, a three-day event expected to draw tens of thousands of investors and non-investors alike to his hometown. Berkshire Hathaway owns Brooks Sports and a host of other companies, including GEICO and Dairy Queen.

Brooks Sports, also known as Brooks Running, recently received notoriety after the first American woman in 33 years won the 2018 Boston Marathon.

Desiree Linden won the iconic 26.2-mile race wearing Brooks sneakers with a time of 2 hours, 39 minutes and 53 seconds.

“We’re so proud of Desiree Linden,” Weber said. “What an achievement for her. Boston has been in her sights for many, many years.”

The Brooks Sports CEO said the company was able to design a shoe for elite athletes that was as light as possible and that encompasses the latest technology that protects runners.

“For the elite athletes, details matter, everything matters,” Weber said.