Last May, over 170 footwear players sent a letter to US President Donald Trump. Yesterday, over 200 companies signed one more letter to ask President Trump to remove 15% customs duty, which will enter into force on September 1, applied on a few footwear product categories made in China. Likewise, they also urged the White House to remove another duty, applied to other commodities, which will enter into force on December 15. Among others, a few brands, such as Nike, Adidas and Birkenstock, together with some retailers, such as Foot Locker, JCPenney and DSW, are the main subscribers of the letter mentioned above.
Costs and damages
“Undoubtedly tariffs are going to act as secret taxes American citizens will pay – one can read in the letter –. Owing to duties, imposed, in September, on most of Chinese footwear products (including almost all leather footwear models), American workers and their families will be inevitably affected and hit by detrimental effects deriving from such tax increase. Not to mention, furthermore, current duties, which account for 11% on average, but reach even 67% on some types of shoes”. All that will entail some costs: “Due to this additional 15% tax – they added in the letter signed by 200 businesses – US footwear buyers will spend 4 more billion dollars a year”, as estimated by FDRA, the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America.
“Brands have already emphasized that rising tariffs will affect employment growth. Footwear stores remarked this is going to be a criminal attack against work – commented Matt Priest (FDRA) –. We hope that President Trump will listen to Americans and stop this pointless commercial war”. In the letter, they also replied to a few US government officers: in their opinion, if China depreciated its national currency, it would be enough to offset duties. “Aiming to offset new tariffs, rising by 15% for some shoes, Chinese currency should decrease by over 40%”.