“The proposed additional tariff of 25 percent on footwear would be catastrophic for our consumers, our companies and the American economy as a whole,” more than 170 companies said in a letter sent to the White House Monday. “Your proposal to add tariffs on all imports from China is asking the American consumer to foot the bill. It is time to bring this trade war to an end.”
The Trump administration added footwear last Monday to a proposed list of additional tariffs.
At Baltimore-based Under Armour, about 87 percent of its shoes were made last year by contract manufacturers in China, Vietnam and Indonesia, the company reported. The company said it sources 15 percent of its apparel and footwear from China, with less than 10 percent going to the U.S. market.
The industry as a whole has been moving away from manufacturing in China, but changing sourcing requires years of planning, and “companies cannot simply move factories to adjust to these changes,” the brands said in the letter.
It said the footwear industry already faces $3 billion in tariffs each year, and consumers will pay for any increases in transportation, labor rate or tariff costs at the border.
The Footwear Distributors & Retailers of America estimates that the proposed footwear tariffs would add $7 billion in additional costs for consumers each year.
Higher taxes would impact every type of shoe, said the letter. Clarks, Converse, Dearfoam, Crocs, Steve Madden and Stride Rite also were among brands that signed. Baltimore-based Fila North America also signed the letter.