A new report by the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA) has revealed dramatically rising duties on children's shoes.

The report findings show that 99.9% of children's shoes sold in the US are imported and hit with tariff rates upwards of 37.5%, 48% and 67.5%. Other imported consumer goods are taxed at an average of 1.3%.

Tariffs on children's shoes are also regressive, the report stated. In comparison, imported leather loafers face around an 8% tariff rate.

The data shows that in 2013, 2.4bn pairs of shoes were imported into the US. An estimated 547.5m of those were children's shoes. And, of the $2.5bn in duties collected on all footwear last year, FDRA estimates children's shoes were hit with duties of $268m.

"FDRA estimates that the average retail cost of a pair children's shoes in 2013 was $24.50, and $3 of this average price per pair is directly attributed to the cost of import taxes," authors noted.

"Putting this cost per pair in perspective, a 2013 National Poverty Center study on extreme poverty reported there are 3.55m children in America living in households making less than $2 a day, per person.

"Sadly, many in America do not realise how low and middle income families struggle to purchase new shoes. Financial difficulty often means parents delay the purchase of shoes for their children in order to pay bills - a choice no one should ever have to make."

Report authors say The Affordable Footwear Act (AFA) - a legislation currently moving through Congress that seeks to end the most egregious of these shoe taxes - could help.

The Act would suspend duties on children's footwear, and footwear at the most agregious tariff rates, for three years.

"The bill was written so that it does not cover the remaining 1% of footwear still made in the US, preventing any impact to domestic producers. In fact the majority of domestic footwear producers support this legislation to help consumers," authors said.

"Cost savings on children's footwear will go to families - retail algorithms are used to calculate children's footwear costs at big box retailers, ensuring in a competitive marketplace savings go to consumers. The AFA will provide immediate financial help for working class families by correcting an outdated hidden tax that unfairly targets and penalises children's shoes."