Why the TPP May Quickly Make Your Imported Shoes Duty Free

Why the TPP May Quickly Make Your Imported Shoes Duty Free

A sweeping Pacific trade agreement would quickly result in duty-free imports for most kinds of footwear if Congress OKs the deal, a trade group said Thursday.

“From what we see, most footwear is duty-free on day one of implementation” of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, said Andy Polk, vice president of the Footwear Distributors & Retailers of America.

The Obama administration released the text of the 12-nation trade deal early Thursday morning. President Barack Obama will send the deal to Congress for a vote, where a tough fight is expected over one of his top economic priorities.

Obama has strongly pressed for the trade deal, including in a May visit to sneaker giant Nike NKE, +1.15% one of the FDRA’s member companies.

Polk told MarketWatch in an email that he couldn’t get into specifics about brands. But he said at first glance the group estimated more than $300 million in footwear duty-savings from Vietnamese imports in the first year of a ratified TPP.

The group says the U.S. footwear industry paid $2.7 billion in duties last year, with more than $450 million from TPP member countries.

The trade deal aims to break down trade barriers between the member countries, including the U.S., Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam. The Obama administration is touting a side agreement on currencies, though it is facing pushback from some in Congress and manufacturers.

The group’s other members include Deckers DECK, +0.71% , Foot Locker FL, +0.82% and J.C. Penney Co. JCP, -2.03%