MAJORITY OF DOMESTIC FOOTWEAR MANUFACTURING COMPANIES COME OUT IN FAVOR OF THE TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNER
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Posted by: NSRA
Washington, D.C. (March 7, 2016) - The majority of domestic footwear manufacturers (by pairs produced) today stated their strong support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in a letter sent to U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman. The letter details how the TPP would "strengthen our domestic manufacturing facilities while adding new jobs for Americans in trucking, warehousing, retail and port logistics."
Blake Krueger, Chairman, President & CEO, Wolverine Worldwide, Jim Issler, President & CEO, H.H. Brown Shoe Company, Alan Cahill, Executive Vice President, Elan-Polo, and Koya Oba, President, LaCrosse Footwear signed the letter. These four companies operate factories in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Oregon respectively. In the letter they point out that high tariff rates on imported footwear (upwards of 67.5%) “…have done little to keep footwear manufacturing jobs in America” and now only serve as a hidden tax on American consumers.
“Contrary to many assumptions and news reports, many of the largest domestic footwear manufactures support TPP because they see it as a way they can cut costs on their imports, providing additional investment capital to reinvest here at home,” said FDRA President Matt Priest. “Today, more than 99% of the entire U.S. footwear industry, domestic manufacturer and importer alike, supports the TPP because it will boost our industry through job creation, increased innovation, and lower costs. As Congress examines how this vital trade agreement can grow good paying jobs throughout our supply chain, I invite them to consider the views of these industry leaders.”
The letter, attached, comes at a time when many are studying the economic impact the TPP would have on American companies and workers. A recent analysis by FDRA, the footwear industry’s trade association who represents both domestic manufactures and importers, estimated the TPP would provide the footwear industry and U.S. consumers a savings of $500 million in the first year, and $6 billion over the first decade. As this letter states, these are dollars that can be used to strengthen domestic operations.
FDRA is the footwear industry's voice in Washington. In all, it supports over 130 companies and 200 brands, or 80% of total U.S. footwear sales, making it America’s largest and most respected footwear trade association.