A bipartisan effort, the Affordable Footwear Act of 2013 has been reintroduced in Congress. This legislation would eliminate import duties on many types of outdoor footwear for the next 5 years, including children’s footwear. This should almost definitely lower consumer costs, as some footwear is imported at exorbitant tariff rates of 37.5% and even up to 67.5%, higher even than the taxes on cigarettes, and much higher than the average US tariff of 2% on imported goods. The supposition is that the Act would also create jobs and drive innovation in outdoor footwear produced domestically.
The OIA has been a strong proponent of this act, as has the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) who has been pushing Congress to “stomp out the shoe tax.” Their site is very informative about this non-controversial Act. According to Congress, only about 1% of the total US shoe market is produced in the US and this is concentrated in certain areas of footwear that will still have import tariffs, and that don’t really compete on price but more on quality and brand. Most of the effected tariffs are outdated and are not protecting any American interests.
Here is the actual text of the bill and this is a pdf of the covered categories. As usual, it is a mess of complicated descriptions so before changing your pricing structure and designs, you may want to consult an import specialist.