Nearly all shoes sold in the United States, 99%, come from overseas, making a shoe tariff, as high as 67.5%, nearly unavoidable, according to Rep. Nancy Boyda (2nd dist.).
The duties collected from the shoe tariff adds 1.9 billion dollars to government coffers, but is then passed on to the consumer "to the tune of for to five-billion dollars every year," said the Congresswoman.
To help ease the burden on working families, Rep. Boyda has joined with Rep. Joseph Crowley (R-New York) and Kevin Brady (R-Texas) to sponsor the Affordable Footwear Act (HR3934/ S2372), abolishing the tariff.
Boyda's office cites the support of U.S. shoemakers such as Matt Rubel, CEO and president of Collective Brands, Inc. parent company of Payless ShoeSource and The Stride Rite Corporation, "The tax is outdated, enacted in the 1930s and designed to protect U.S. footwear manufacturing that hasn't been present for decades, and is regressive with higher taxes on less expensive shoes."
The Affordable Footwear Act has been advocated by the Progressive Policy Institute and the Heritage Foundation, providing briefings for Congress as well as a policy paper. Introduced otriginally by Rep. Crowley, it currently has 59 co-sponsors.