Nov 2, 2017
AAFA hails introduction of GSP Footwear Bill in US Senate
Nov 2, 2017
The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) has welcomed the introduction of a bill in the US Senate to designate certain footwear as eligible for the generalized system of preferences (GSP) program. Under the proposal, certain footwear produced abroad would be eligible to be added to GSP for the first time since the program began 40 years ago.
The legislation was introduced recently by Senator Maria Cantwell and Senator Pat Roberts. If passed, the bill could pave the way for cost savings in footwear and diversification of sourcing for US companies.
A version of the bill was introduced earlier this year in the US House of Representatives by Adrian Smith and Earl Blumenauer.
“Duty reduction means US footwear companies can reduce costs that can instead be invested in American workers, product innovation, and savings that can be passed on to consumers,” an AAFA press release quoted CEO and president Rick Helfenbein as saying.
AAFA also urged the US Congress to renew the overall GSP program before it expires at the end of this year.
Three primary categories may be considered for duty-free savings under the proposed act: outdoor footwear, low-cost rubber sole shoes with textile uppers and slippers. Import of protective active footwear, subject to 20 per cent duties now, could do away with those duties.
GSP was established by the Trade Act of 1974 and is the largest and oldest US trade preference program. AAFA has been a strong supporter of the GSP program.
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