11 Jun AGOA Passage Praised by Footwear Industry
The House of Representatives passed a renewal of the African Growth & Opportunity Act (AGOA) trade preference program on June 11, 2015 by an overwhelming vote of 397 to 32. The AGOA renewal, included in the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015 (H.R. 1295), will extend the program for 10 years and continue to provide duty free access for footwear made in Africa bound for the United States. The trade program is increasingly important to U.S. footwear companies sourcing in Africa.
“We applaud the House of Representatives for passing legislation to extend the African Growth & Opportunity Act (AGOA) for an unprecedented 10 years,” said Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA) President Matt Priest. “This bipartisan legislation is critical to U.S. footwear companies currently sourcing from Africa and those who are looking to source there in the years to come. We expect the Senate to move quickly to pass AGOA and the President to sign it in the coming days. As countries like Ethiopia are becoming increasingly important as a supplier of footwear to the U.S., the value of this vital trade program will only increase.”
Footwear Trade Fast Facts:
99% of all shoes sold in the U.S. are made overseas, despite some the highest tariffs on any consumer product.
Footwear tariffs average 10% and reach upwards of 67.5%.
Leather footwear production in African countries like Ethiopia has increased over the past few years, as companies seek to lower their duty bills through AGOA.
About FDRA: FDRA is the footwear industry’s voice in Washington. It represents and advocates for over 80% of total U.S. footwear sales, making it America’s largest and most respected footwear trade association.