AAFA Urges Congress to Pass Trade Bill to Aid U.S. Manufacturers

AAFA LogoArlington, VA—The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) joined a chorus of U.S. trade groups today urging Congress to reinstate recently-expired tariff suspensions as part of the “Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB).”

Known officially as the “U.S. Job Creation and Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2013 (H.R. 2708),” MTB legislation has been overwhelmingly approved by virtually every Congress over the last 20 years, but last year the deadlocked Congress failed to act on the bill. It’s important to U.S. manufacturers since it would temporarily reduce or suspend import duties on hundreds of individual products, including those used in U.S. manufacturing as well as finished consumer products no longer manufactured in the United States.

In recent years, the legislation has included provisions temporarily reducing or eliminating import duties on a variety of footwear, apparel, and textiles.

‘Failure Act Could Cost Jobs’

“The U.S. Job Creation and Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2013 not only helps U.S. apparel and footwear manufacturers, it also benefits more than 4 million U.S. apparel and footwear industry workers,” said Kevin M. Burke, president/ceo of AAFA. “This bill will provide U.S. manufacturers with access to critical inputs to remain competitive in the global market while also suspending or reducing duties on over a dozen types of footwear no longer made in the United States.”

Since Congress failed to act on MTB legislation, manufacturers have been paying substantially higher taxes on essential manufacturing inputs since January 1, resulting in higher costs that could make manufacturers less competitive, according to AAFA, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and other industry groups.

“The MTB is commonsense legislation Congress can act on to keep manufacturing in the United States strong,” said Linda Dempsey, NAM vice president of International Economic Affairs. “Each day that passes without an MTB hurts manufacturing in the United States and threatens jobs. Failure to act will result in a whopping $748 million tax on manufacturing in the United States and economic losses amounting to $1.857 billion over the next three years.”

The MTB was introduced Wednesday by House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Michigan)—who called the bill a “priority”—and Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-Michigan) www.wewear.org.










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Jeff Prine

Jeff Prine, Editor at Large, Accessories Magazine
Jeff returns as a regular contributor to Accessories magazine. Initially Jeff worked as senior editor at Accessories more than 20 years ago and his love of the industry has followed him until present. Since his tenure here, Jeff has continued to report jewelry, watch and other luxury goods trends as executive editor at Modern Jeweler magazine, fashion director at Lustre, and as contributor on products and trends for consumer and trade publications and websites. In addition to his editorial experience, Jeff also served as an adjunct instructor for accessories merchandising at Fashion Institute of Technology. jeffp@busjour.com