FDRA Weighs in on Administration’s MTB Footwear Decision

FDRA Weighs in on Administration’s MTB Footwear Decision

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA) yesterday sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Acting Secretary Rebecca Blank at the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding their decision to object to all footwear Miscellaneous Tariff Bills (MTBs). The letter states the decision is “discriminatory, arbitrary and not justified by the facts.”

MTBs grant limited, both in time and scope, tariff relief for goods that are not produced in the United States. This allows for cost savings for both the footwear industry and consumers.

The Administration’s decision to object to footwear MTBs is said to be due to a concern that these duty suspensions would impact Free Trade Agreements currently being negotiated. However, the FDRA letter strongly objected to this line of thinking when it stated, “The reality is that the footwear MTBs support U.S. jobs and could not possibly influence potential U.S. free trade partners to alter their positions in the negotiations.”

“I am very disappointed that the Administration has taken such an unprecedented stance on bills that would provide much needed cost pressure relief for the entire footwear industry and its consumers” said FDRA President Matt Priest “As a key supporter of the Administration’s efforts to negotiate a strong Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, FDRA is greatly concerned that this opposition might undermine our collective efforts and erode our support. We strongly ask the Obama Administration to reconsider its opposition and support these job creating bills.”

Read the FDRA letter here.

About FDRA: As the largest footwear trade association in the United States, FDRA accounts for approximately 80% of all footwear sales, representing the industry’s leading retailers, brands and buying agents. Its services include lobbying and advocacy for industry causes, educational programs and trade publications. For more information visit www.fdra.org.