The Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA) applauded Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) for reintroducing the Affordable Footwear Act (AFA), Thursday in the United States Senate. The bill’s House counterpart (H.R. 1708) was introduced earlier this year by Representatives Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) and Joseph Crowley (D-NY), and has a total of 48 co-sponsors.

The United States imposes a hidden, regressive tax on footwear.  AFA will remove this burdensome tax on about one third of all footwear.  More specifically, if passed, the bill would eliminate approximately $800 million in duties on lower-priced children’s footwear and some hiking boots.

“On behalf of the footwear industry, we thank Senator Cantwell and Senator Blunt for their support,” stated FDRA Chairman Greg Tunney. “It is time to end this hidden, regressive tax.  It is harming working class families and children and cutting into the industry’s ability to invest back into their companies and employees. This is basic, common sense, legislation that would benefit all Americans, especially middle and lower income families.”

In 2012, American families paid $2.4 billion dollars in footwear duties.  The Affordable Footwear Act would go a long way toward addressing this unnecessary cost burden on working families by eliminating duties on shoes with the highest duty rates.  If successful, this bill will generate additional savings for consumers, drive more shoe sales and provide additional opportunities for job growth in the U.S. footwear industry.

FDRA President Matt Priest added that he is optimistic that AFA can be passed this year: “Unlike many other issues on Congress’s radar, the Affordable Footwear Act has broad bipartisan support and is non-controversial.  We are hopeful that this bill can be included in a trade package before the end of 2013.”

About FDRA
Founded in 1944 by the footwear industry, the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA) is the largest footwear trade association in the US.  It represents and serves the entire width of the footwear industry from small family owned footwear businesses, U.S. footwear factories, and global footwear companies.  It also represents and serves the full supply chain of the footwear industry from research, design and development, to manufacturing and distribution, to retailers selling to consumers all over the globe. For more information, visit www.fdra.org.