18 Jul 2022

After months of waiting, there are signs that the Trump-era trade tariffs imposed on a whole range of Chinese imports to the US, including clothing and footwear.

The Biden administration is considering whether to roll back the Section 301 tariffs in view of the highest inflation rate in 40 years which is hitting family budgets and causing widespread consumer anxiety.

American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) President and CEO Steve Lamar commented to Sourcing Journal that movement on the issue could be imminent as early as this week based on conversations with members of the administration and Congress.

Although there could be an initial rollback of tariffs on a small selection of goods, Lamar indicated that actions could also include the implementation of a new exclusion process, and a new Section 301 investigation into China’s trade actions, conducted by the United States Trade Representative (USTR).

In the case of footwear, of which the US imports 70% of its internal demand from China, according to the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA), its president and CEO, Matt Priest has conducted an ongoing campaign to have the additional footwear tariff of 1 0% repealed. Retail prices of footwear which were increased by the Trump tariffs, cost the US consumer at least and estimated $4 billion per year.

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