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ICAST award winner warns US trade of an imminent recession


Reporting a good start to the year and a set of five awards at ICAST for the second year running, AFTCO, is bracing itself for a recession across the US.

The company’s owner, Bill Shedd (below), told Angling International: “Last year was not as good as the huge increases of three years ago and businesses who say otherwise are not being honest. AFTCO has started the year well, but we are waiting for the recession to come. We have not seen it yet, but I believe it will come.

“You can’t have interest rates move like they have in the US without them having an impact. There are a lot of cash-strapped companies out there and there could be trouble ahead for them.

“This year a lot of companies have been stuck with excess inventory and they are having to sell it at a time when our trade – like other businesses in the US – is experiencing a slowdown in the economy.

“It will be hard, but the companies that continue to innovate will do better than others. It is important to be aware that tough times will not last forever. With that in mind, protecting the good people at your company is important when there is the temptation to make redundancies in difficult situations. Our people have been key to the success of AFTCO.”

Shedd, an avid environmental campaigner, believes that the economic situation across the US is just one of the challenges facing the fishing tackle industry. “There is an environmental community out there that is intent on taking anglers off the water,” he said.

“In California, where all the crazy ideas come from, they are advocating banning anglers from all the lands, waters and lakes included in the 30×30 project. That is just one of the many threats facing our waters, but solutions that call for anglers being banned from the water by extreme environmental groups and politicians are not the answer. Anglers are not the enemy, they are part of the solution.”

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