A new bill to eliminate high import tariffs on children's and lower to moderately-priced shoes was introduced yesterday (12 June).

Supporters, including US Representatives Joseph Crowley (D-NY) and Kevin Brady (R-TX) and the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), say the import tariffs cost US footwear companies $1.9bn in 2006, with the highest import tariffs on lower-cost shoes.

The cost of these tariffs is passed on to the consumer, in some cases comprising nearly 40% of the retail price tag.

In contrast, expensive luxury shoes enter the country under low duties, with many entering duty free.

US import tariffs on footwear were established in 1930 to "protect a manufacturing industry that no longer exists."
"The elimination of this unfair 'shoe tax' is long over due," said AAFA president and CEO Kevin M Burke.