Two U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday proposed saving Americans billions of dollars on shoes by eliminating import duties ranging up to 67.5 percent.
Most hard-working American families don't realize they are paying a hidden tax on their shoes, Representative Joseph Crowley, a New York Democrat, said in a statement.
American cannot avoid the tax because 99 percent of shoes purchased each year in the United States are made in a foreign country, the American Apparel and Footwear Association said.
We are proposing a common-sense reform that will eliminate this regressive tax and reduce the cost of shoes by billions of dollars every year, Crowley said.
Crowley and Representative Kevin Brady, a Texas Republican, said their bill, the Affordable Footwear Act, would not eliminate duties on imports that compete with the few footwear products still made in the United States.
But it would reform an outdated, 1930s-era tariff system that taxes most heavily the lowest-valued shoes, they said.
Why should a mom pay 30 percent or more for her child's shoes because of tariffs from more than half a century ago that are still on the books? Brady said.
As parents of young children ourselves, we are calling on Congress to untie the shoe tax, he said.
(Reporting by Doug Palmer; Editing by Eric Walsh)