Adding sports shoes to the recently announced tariffs against goods imported from China would cost footwear consumers $7 billion annually, 173 manufacturers and retailers told President Trump Monday.
“The proposed additional tariff of 25% on footwear would be catastrophic for our consumers, our companies, and the American economy as a whole,” wrote the likes of Nike, Adidas, Foot Locker, Steve Madden, Crocs and a host of other companies whose products sheath our feet.
“Any action taken to increase duties on Chinese footwear will have an immediate and long-lasting effect on American individuals and families. It will also threaten the very economic viability of many companies in our industry.”
Footwear manufacturers and retailers on Monday stepped into the trade war between the U.S. and China, telling President Trump that a sneaker tax would be catastrophic and calling on him to halt the trade war that has been under way since last year.
Footwear Distributors Retailers of America, an industry trade group, was behind the letter, according to CNN.
Trump and China have been playing tariff ping pong since last year, each slapping ever-larger tariffs on the other in trade negotiations that have morphed into an outright trade war.
Nike, for one, makes 26% of its footwear in China, reported CNN, which also said that the Asian nation accounted for 72% of all footwear the U.S. imported in 2017.
Trump has been insisting that China is paying the tariffs on its goods that come into the U.S., but even his top economic adviser said last week this is not true. The footwear industry’s letter spelled out the effect that tariffs would have on American consumers’ wallets.
“Your proposal to add tariffs on all imports from China is asking the American consumer to foot the bill,” the chafing shoe companies said. “It is time to bring this trade war to an end.”