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AAFA relaunches website to support Affordable Footwear Act
Sep '12
The American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) re-launched EndtheShoeTax.org, an all-new website to serve as the central information hub and action center for the Affordable Footwear Act, commonsense legislation that would eliminate the hidden and regressive tax on most children’s and lower cost footwear. Sponsored by AAFA, this new website is just one component of the robust effort by the Affordable Footwear Act Coalition to finally achieve passage of this much-needed legislation.

“With just a few business days left in the 112th Congress before Election Day, members of Congress have one last opportunity to achieve meaningful results for hardworking American families,” said AAFA President and CEO Kevin M. Burke.  “By passing the Affordable Footwear Act before they adjourn to hit the campaign trail, Congress will deliver a valuable tax cut for hardworking American families by saving them billions of dollars annually, providing economic relief to lower- and middle-income families at a time when they need it the most.

Affecting most lower- to moderately-priced footwear as well as most children’s shoes (about 60 percent of all shoes sold in the United States), this depression-era shoe tax was implemented to protect the domestic footwear industry.  Today, 99 percent of all footwear sold in America is imported. Not only has the shoe tax lived out its purpose, it is unavoidable.

Because of this outdated tax, U.S. footwear firms still pay the U.S. treasury more than $1.9 billion in duties every year.  With mark-ups at the wholesale and retail level, those $1.9 billion in duties amount to a $6 billion tax on hardworking American families.  By focusing on only $700 million of the $1.9 billion Americans pay every year in duties, with markups at the wholesale and retail level, this $700 million in cost to the U.S. Treasury actually translates into a $2- to $3 billion tax cut for hardworking U.S. families.

At the same time, the Affordable Footwear Act was carefully crafted to ensure that protections remain in place for the few remaining domestic footwear manufacturers. As a result, the Affordable Footwear Act is truly non-controversial legislation supported by the entire U.S. footwear industry.

“Our improved website, EndTheShoeTax.org, allows the our elected officials and voters to become better informed about the Affordable Footwear Act and the hidden shoe tax which has a much deeper impact than most realize,” said Burke.

With a new look and feel, EndTheShoeTax.org allows consumers to easily learn about the tax placed on footwear that places an unnecessary burden on hardworking American families. Because the tax is regressive, lower-priced shoes receive the highest tax rate – as much as 40 percent of the shoe’s value.

EndTheShoeTax.org also integrates AAFA’s new Legislative Action Center, allowing users to easily send a letter to their elected officials on an array of issues. This unprecedented combination provides a simple, easy to understand interface for American consumers to produce tangible results in a grassroots effort.

“The ease with which this website allows consumers to learn about the issue and go a step further to take action is unmatched,” said Burke. “This valuable tool will prove its worth in the effort to stomp out the shoe tax.”

The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) is the national trade association representing apparel, footwear and other sewn products companies, and their suppliers, which compete in the global market.

American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA)

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