As Colombia tries to defend itself from cheap Chinese imports, police have taken action against imitation “vueltiado” hats.
Police have reportedly begun siezing hats in Colombian tourist hotspots after concerns that cheap Chinese copies of traditional Colombian hats may put local hatters out of business.
Colombian Trade Minister Sergio Diaz-Granados said that the focus will be on major festivals like the Barranquilla Carnival where vendors can “make a killing” selling fake hats to tourists.
“We are also distributing flyers in Spanish and English in the hotels in the region and using radio spots in key stations to appeal to tourists not to buy the imitations of the traditional vueltiado hat that are circulating in the market,” said the minister.
Vueltiado hats are made using traditional methods in the town of Tuchin in the northern department of Cordoba and is considered a symbol of Colombian culture.
The move to crack down on the hats comes in the wake of Colombia’s decision to impose a tariff on all imported apparel in order to protect its own textile industry.