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AAFA comments opposing new tariffs on imports from Europe

Jan '20
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) recently opposed any hike in retaliatory tariffs on US imports of apparel from the United Kingdom or the expansion of retaliatory tariffs to textiles and handbags from Europe. The current retaliatory tariffs should also be removed immediately, the trade association of the apparel, footwear and accessories industries said.

“We are perplexed by the proposal to increase retaliatory tariffs on U.S. imports of UK sweaters, suits, and home textiles, and expand those punitive tariffs to U.S. imports of European handbags and textiles,” AAFA senior vice president for policy Nate Herman wrote in a letter to Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR).

Though AAFA members agree with the US government’s objective of eliminating illegal subsidies for Airbus, they ‘completely stumped’ as to how imposing taxes on US imports of clothes, textiles and accessories will accomplish that goal, he said.

In fact, 25 per cent punitive tariffs have been in place on US imports of certain clothes from the United Kingdom for months, to absolutely no effect. That is because such products have nothing to do with aircraft subsidies, he wrote.

AAFA members import and sell clothes, home textiles and handbags from Europe because over 97 per cent of all clothes and over 99 per cent of all handbags sold in the United States today are imported, and wool sweaters from England and Scotland and handbags made in France have a certain cachet with American consumers.

If a punitive tariff is imposed by the US government, AAFA members will be forced to source fewer handbags, which will obviously lead to lower sales, which would affect American workers, AAFA added.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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