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Shoe Shopping? Legislation Could Make Shoes Cheaper and Create Jobs

Posted By Bryan Riley On November 27, 2012 @ 3:00 pm In Featured | Comments Disabled

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If Congress wants to create more jobs this holiday shopping season, it can start by eliminating many Depression-era tariffs [2] on shoes.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 186,110 Americans work for shoe stores [3], an industry that generates $4.6 billion in annual wages. Many people who work for large department stores, drive delivery trucks, or are employed as fashion designers also rely on shoe sales for their jobs.

Congress penalizes these workers by imposing an average 10 percent tariff [4] on imported shoes. Tariffs on shoes are much higher than the overall 1.3 percent average U.S. tariff rate.

Shoe tariffs can be even higher than 10 percent, depending on what materials they are made from. As a result, many shoemakers are forced to employ “tariff engineers” to design shoes that will qualify for lower tariff rates.

The bipartisan Affordable Footwear Act [5], introduced by Representatives Joe Crowley (D–NY) and Lynn Jenkins (R–KS) in the House of Representatives and Senators Roy Blunt (R–MO) and Maria Cantwell (D–WA) in the Senate, would eliminate tariffs on many lines of shoes that are no longer produced in the United States.

This legislation would boost opportunities [6] for hundreds of thousands of Americans who design, transport, and market shoes, while reducing prices for consumers. And as Congress cut tariffs on imported shoes, every dollar consumers saved could be spent on food, clothing, or other products, creating jobs in other industries, too.

Eliminating high tariffs on shoes would also give American policymakers additional credibility when they ask other countries to cut tariffs affecting U.S. exports.

Congress could give holiday shoppers an unexpected gift by taking a stand against overpriced shoes and cutting tariffs.


Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org

URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2012/11/27/shoe-shopping-legislation-could-make-shoes-cheaper-and-create-jobs/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://blog.heritage.org/wp-content/uploads/shoeshopping.jpg

[2] Depression-era tariffs: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/04/affordable-footwear-act-give-shoe-taxes-the-boot

[3] 186,110 Americans work for shoe stores: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/naics4_448200.htm

[4] tariff: http://dataweb.usitc.gov/

[5] Affordable Footwear Act: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr2697/text

[6] boost opportunities: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/09/trade-freedom-how-imports-support-us-jobs

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