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160 footwear brands urge Congress to pass Affordable Footwear Act
25
Oct '08
Nearly 50 Main Street companies, representing over 160 well-known footwear brands and retailers, asked Congress in a letter this week to pass the Affordable Footwear Act (HR 3934/ S 2372), a common-sense provision designed to make shoes more affordable for hardworking families.

Concerned about the slowing economy and the credit crunch that is sharply curtailing consumer spending, the footwear industry urged Congress to include the Act in a larger economic stimulus package that Congress is expected to consider in a November lame duck session.

The Affordable Footwear Act eliminates the hidden, costly import tariff, also known as the shoe tax, on lower to moderately-priced footwear and all children's shoes. The shoe tax, which is disproportionately higher on children's shoes and low-cost footwear, can add as much as 30 percent or more to the retail price of a pair of shoes.

Established at the start of the Great Depression, the shoe tax was meant to protect domestic manufacturers from cheaper imports. That policy failed, and today 99 percent of all shoes sold in America are imported, yet the shoe tax remains. The Affordable Footwear Act will not eliminate the shoe tax on the few types of shoes still produced in America.

In the letter to Congress, the footwear industry and its retailers said, “The Affordable Footwear Act is the perfect opportunity to provide a real, tangible tax cut that would immediately stimulate the economy and provide a benefit to Main Street Americans.”

Click here to see retailer list of 50 Main Street companies:

American Apparel & Footwear Association

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