“With a 7.9 percent surge in domestic footwear manufacturing, 2011 was a very positive year for the U.S. footwear industry,” said AAFA President and CEO Kevin M. Burke. “2011 was also marked by an increase in retail sales and growth in employment at the manufacturing, wholesale, and retail levels. 2011 also represents a shift in sourcing as the industry began to diversify its supply chain away from China to other viable sourcing partners, including the United States.”
“Accounting for more than one million U.S. workers, the U.S. footwear industry is a powerful example of an industry that is able to create jobs and provide meaningful savings for American families because of international trade,” Burke said. “With more than 98 percent of the footwear sold in the United States being produced internationally, there is a distinct and positive correlation between trade and job creation in the U.S. footwear industry, even while seeing growth in domestic manufacturing.”
To continue supporting more than one million American jobs related directly to the U.S. footwear industry and the countless others supported by the industry, the U.S. government must continue to reduce barriers to trade, including the immediate congressional passage of the Affordable Footwear Act. This common sense legislation would eliminate the hidden and regressive import taxes that only drive up the prices on low-cost and children’s shoes. Its passage directly benefits hardworking American families and supports jobs here in the United States while continue to protect the remaining footwear manufacturers in the United States.
The Affordable Footwear Act (H.R. 2697 / S. 1069) was introduced on July 29, 2011, 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) and in the U.S. Senate by Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and co-sponsored by Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO), Pat Roberts (R-KS), and Patty Murray (D-WA) on May 25, 2011.
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