A number of duty suspension proposals for textile and footwear will be missing from a miscellaneous tariff bill (MTB) heading to the US’s lame duck congress this month, according to Nate Herman, vice president of international trade at the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA).

“There are a lot of suspensions that we thought would be in the package, because they meet all the criteria, but they’re not in there currently,” he said.

This is because the US Trade Representative (USTR) office has argued the suspensions would undermine trade negotiations and existing trade preference agreements.

But Herman said these arguments make little sense: “We find it odd that they undermine trade negotiations, because the bills are very limited in scope in terms of revenue impact, are not opposed by anyone domestically, and are temporary.”

The suspensions, which would have included low-cost footwear as well as certain fine gauge sweaters, were meant to lower costs and entice consumers to spend again.

By Emma Jackson.