American Apparel and Footwear Association Reacts to Import Tariffs

The American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) responds to recent proposals by President Trump for tariffs on U.S. imports from China. 

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WASHINGTON, D.C.-The American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) responds to recent proposals by President Trump for tariffs on U.S. imports from China. The group voiced their concerns with affiliated organizations in a letter to the President earlier this week.

The AAFA states that soft goods such as children’s wear and jackets face duties of more than 25 percent.

“We impose these tariff rates originally set during the early days of the Great Depression – even though there is very little or no commercial production of these items in the United States,” says the AAFA in the letter. The letter went on to say that as of 2017, China accounts for roughly 41 percent of all apparel imported to the U.S.

Through the proposed tariffs, the organization speculates prices would increase on the apparel sold in the U.S., ultimately putting the cost burden on buyers. In addition to pricing fluctuations, the AAFA cites the more than 4 million Americans employed in the apparel, footwear, travel goods, and home goods industries potentially affected by the changes.

“The fact that every American buys these consumer goods, means that every American will feel the adverse effect of this action,” the organization stresses.  “At a 25 percent additional duty rate, we estimate that a family of four will end up paying about $500 more to buy these basic consumer products every year, and this doesn’t account for any price increases that other suppliers will surely charge as they respond to the cost increases.”

The letter comes as the latest move by the AAFA to establish its position on international policy’s effects on the apparel industry. In May 2017, the organization released an announcement opposing border adjustment taxes.

While the Trump administration’s proposed changes have drawn the ire largely from the steel industry, wholesale and retail apparel brands are voicing their own concerns on how tariffs would affect an industry that relies heavily on international supply chains.  Most recently, Under Armour submitted their own list of grievances on the subject to the White House.

To read the AAFA’s letter, visit

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Mike Clark

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