US footwear companies, including Nike and Under Armour, on Monday urged President Donald Trump to remove footwear from the proposed tariffs list on goods imported from China, Reuters reports.
“The proposed additional tariff of 25 percent on footwear would be catastrophic for our consumers, our companies, and the American economy as a whole,” a group of 173 companies was quoted as saying in a letter.
Trump increased tariffs on US$200 billion worth of Chinese imports to 25 percent from 10 percent earlier this month, a move that is expected to raise prices on thousands of products including clothing, furniture and electronics.
Trump is expected to impose 25 percent tariffs on another US$300 billion worth of Chinese goods next month.
“As an industry that faces a $3 billion duty bill every year, we can assure you that any increase in the cost of importing shoes has a direct impact on the American footwear consumer,” the US footwear companies said.
The letter was also sent to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow.
The Footwear Distributors & Retailers of America estimates the hike in tariff would add US$7 billion in additional costs for customers every year.
The companies noted that the tariffs on footwear average 11.3 percent and reach rates as high as 67.5 percent. Adding a 25 percent tax increase on top of these tariffs would mean Americans could pay a nearly 100 percent duty on their shoes, the companies said in the letter.
Last week, the world’s largest retailer Walmart warned that its prices would increase due to higher tariffs on goods from China and that the levies were already hurting its furniture business.
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