New Study on Athletic Footwear Shows that TPP will have Negligible Impact on Domestic Production

New Study on Athletic Footwear Shows that TPP will have Negligible Impact on Domestic Production

Report comes ahead of TPP negotiations impacting footwear

WASHINGTON, DC (August 20, 2013) — A new independent study released today clearly demonstrates that the elimination of footwear duties would have no real impact on employment in the domestic footwear industry. The study, released by the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA), shows that member countries of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement currently under negotiation would realize market share gains at the expense of countries like China that are not party to TPP.

Since 99% of Athletic footwear sold in the U.S. is made overseas, it is taxed at exorbitant tariff rates that can reach as high as 67.5%.  The study shows that eliminating these duties through a robust and progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership would not harm the remaining domestic manufacturing jobs left in the U.S. but would decrease costs and increase the ability to create new jobs.

“This study strips away all the political claims surrounding athletic footwear in the TPP negotiations and gets straight to the facts using US government data and government analytic models. It settles recent debates within the industry by proving that eliminating duties through TPP will have no real employment impact on domestic producers of athletic footwear,” said Matt Priest.  “In fact, duty elimination would accomplish exactly what the Obama Administration is striving for – reducing reliance on China while creating exciting new export opportunities for American-made products.”

Priest added, “U.S. officials are about to begin important negotiations on footwear duty elimination with countries participating in the TPP free trade talks, and I am sure this report will make clear that consumers and the athletic footwear industry alike will greatly benefit from immediate elimination of footwear tariffs in terms of costs, increased innovation and more American jobs.”

Study Highlights:

TARIFF ELIMINATION DOES NOT MEAN US JOB LOSS – Duty reduction will have an extremely small employment effect on the remaining U.S. domestic industry – less than half of a percent.

CHINA WILL LOSE MOST JOBS UNDER TPP TRADE – Countries that are the largest suppliers of footwear to the US market stand to lose the most under TPP.  As the number one supplier of footwear at 84% of volume, China is the most vulnerable to lose market share to Vietnam.  This is confirmed by FDRA’s own 2013 Sourcing Forecast and is a stated policy goal of the Obama Administration.

To access a copy of the full report, please go to the following link: