The Affordable Footwear Act: End The Shoe Tariff
The Depression-era shoe tax originated in 1930 (Smoot-Hawley) to protect a manufacturing sector that no longer exists today. Over the last 20 years, U.S. footwear production has practically disappeared. The few remaining U.S. footwear manufacturers successfully focus on niche items differentiated by quality, brand, specialized purpose, or other non-price elements.
The Affordable Footwear Act does not apply to the remaining footwear types still manufactured domestically, thus U.S. manufacturers do not oppose it. The shoe types addressed by the Affordable Footwear Act are no longer produced in America, yet are still subject to the regressive, expensive shoe tax.
The hard-nosed competition that exists in the U.S. footwear market - recognized by the U.S. International Trade Commission - ensures that a substantial portion of the duty-savings will be passed on to American consumers. In fact, due to this competition, retail prices for footwear have fallen over 4% since 1998 while overall retail prices grew over 25% during the same period (see chart above).
~American Footwear and Apparel Association