U.S. brands urge Trump to remove tariffs on footwear

United States
Published:  22 May, 2019

More than 170 shoe retailers and brands in the U.S., including Nike, Under Armour, Ugg and Foot Locker, have co-signed a letter asking Donald Trump not to raise tariffs on footwear. 

As the U.S. President Donald Trump considers raising tariffs to 25% on a proposed fresh list worth about US$300 billion in Chinese goods, 173 shoe retailers and brands in the U.S. have co-signed a letter sent to the White House, in which they ask the President to consider a halt in raising tariffs on footwear imports from China. “These tariffs would mean some working American families could pay a nearly 100% duty on their shoes”, said the co-signatories.

As reported by ILM, industry organisation Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA) said the increased tariffs on footwear imports from China could cost U.S. consumers an additional US$7 billion each year. “While U.S. tariffs on all consumer goods average just 1.9%, they average 11.3% for footwear and reach rates as high as 67.5%”, reads the letter. Adding a 25% tax increase on top of these tariffs would mean some working American families could pay a nearly 100% duty on their shoes. This is unfathomable”.

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. imported US$11.4 billion worth of footwear from China in 2018. Manufacturers such as Nike, Adidas and Under Armour have been gradually shifting their production from China to Vietnam. However, the co-signatories explain in the letter that “footwear is a very capital-intensive industry, with years of planning required to make sourcing decisions, and companies cannot simply move factories to adjust to these changes”.

Trump is expected to impose 25% tariffs on another US$300 billion worth of Chinese goods when he meets Chinese President Xi Jinping in June.

Source: CNBC/Reuters