The Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA) is breathing a small sigh of relief as President Trump delays the implementation of additional tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese Goods.
"The announcement today that the Trump Administration will be delaying the additional 10% tariff on some footwear until December 1 is an acknowledgment that tariffs are indeed paid by Americans,” the group’s president and CEO Matt Priest said in a statement. “It is no coincidence that the Administration is allowing certain shoes to come in without raising taxes in hopes that prices do not rise at retail during the holidays. Our industry's loud unified voice left a clear impression that shoe tariffs are already extremely high, upwards of 67.5%, and any further tariffs would directly raise costs on consumers and cost footwear jobs."
Priest, also says while the FDRA is pleased with the decision to delay new tariffs on certain shoes, they are not satisfied.
"We will continue to fight for any exclusions on new tariffs and we will fight to delay new tariffs on shoes until the entire tariff threat is lifted off the backs of American families,” he said.
On August 1, President Trump tweeted that tariffs of 10% would be placed on approximately $300 billion of Chinese imports while the U.S. and China negotiate a new trade deal. The president has now instructed the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to delay those proposed tariffs. The additional duties on these items were set to go into effect on September 1 but have been pushed back to take effect on December 15.
Trump's willingness to impose tariffs on Chinese imports has loomed large over the U.S. footwear industry since 70% of shoes sold in the U.S. come from China. Groups such as the FDRA and the American Apparel and Footwear Association have routinely spoken out about tariffs. The groups have also highlighted the negative effect they can have on jobs within the retail footwear industry. The FDRA said the now delayed 10% tariff: "President Trump is, in effect, using American families as a hostage in his trade war negotiations." The group also said that would not take this news lying down.
Tariffs and the threat of tariffs have been a longtime staple in President Trump's trade war tool-belt. The decision to put these latest duties on hold has many in the footwear industry holding out hope that headway could be made in the ongoing trade negotiations between the U.S. and China.
Reggie Wade is a writer for Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter at @ReggieWade.