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AAFA President welcomes footwear bill
04
Aug '11
The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) welcomed the introduction of the Affordable Footwear Act, common sense legislation that would eliminate the hidden and regressive tax on most low-cost and children's shoes.

The Affordable Footwear Act (H.R. 2697) was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representative Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) and co-sponsored by Representatives Joe Crowley (D-NY), Kevin Brady (R-TX), and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). The Affordable Footwear Act was introduced in the U.S. Senate on May 25, 2011.

“With introduction of the Affordable Footwear Act in the House, we are one step closer to realizing common sense duty reductions that will benefit hardworking American families,” said AAFA President and CEO Kevin M. Burke. “I look forward to working with both houses of Congress to quickly pass this consumer cost-savings legislation.”

The Affordable Footwear Act will ease the tax burden on American consumers who unknowingly pay more than 25 percent beyond the cost of a pair of shoes at retail to cover the import duty, or shoe tax, on shoes made outside of the United States. In 2010, 99 percent of the shoes purchased in the United States were produced internationally, so there is no way for hardworking American families to avoid this out-dated tax.

Furthermore, American families in the market for affordable and low-cost shoes for themselves and their children pay a higher import duty, as high as 67 percent, than if they were to purchase luxury brand shoes.

After its passage, the Affordable Footwear Act would eliminate about $800 million in duties on children's and low-cost shoes out of the $2 billion in total duties collected on imported shoes in 2010. Undeniably, shoes are a life necessity, and the hidden and regressive shoe tax places too high a burden on hardworking American families at a time when they can least afford it.

While the Affordable Footwear Act eliminates the import duties on low-cost and children's footwear no longer made in the United States, AAFA recognizes that there remains a small, but vibrant, U.S. footwear manufacturing industry. The Affordable Footwear Act protects this industry while helping U.S. consumers.

Quick passage of the Affordable Footwear Act will be a positive step towards restoring consumer confidence, increasing retail sales, and protecting vital jobs in the U.S. footwear industry.

American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA)

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