Washington—Member countries of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would gain market share at the expense of footwear suppliers in countries like China—but the trade pact would not harm the remaining domestic U.S. jobs, a study confirms.
Citing an independent study, the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA) said it “clearly demonstrated” that elimination of footwear duties would have “no real impact” on employment in the U.S. domestic footwear industry.
The organization said 99% of athletic footwear sold in the United States was made overseas, but was taxed at “exorbitant” tariff rates as high as 67.5%.
A “robust and progressive” TPP would not harm the remaining domestic U.S. jobs, but would cut costs and could lead to the creation of new employment, the FDRA argued.
Instead, the largest supplier countries stood to lose the most, especially China, which has an 84% share of U.S. volume, but would be vulnerable to losing market share to Vietnam.
“The report settles recent debates within the industry by proving that eliminating duties through TPP will have no real employment impact on domestic producers of athletic footwear,” said FDRA president Matt Priest.
“In fact, duty elimination would accomplish exactly what the Obama Administration is striving for–reducing reliance on China while creating exciting new export opportunities for American-made products,” Priest said.