AAFA: Vietnam investigation could have negative impact
Posted October 6, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. –The American Apparel & Footwear Association expressed disappointment with the U.S. Trade Representative’s announcement that it will launch a Section 301 investigation on Vietnam – a move that could pave the way for imposition of new punitive duties on U.S. imports from the country.
Citing the negative impact of the administration’s tariffs on imports as a result of other Section 301 investigations, the association urged the administration to refrain from sowing further supply chain disruption during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Vietnam is an important trading partner for the U.S. apparel, footwear and travel goods industry, and has become even more important as U.S. companies have implemented diversification strategies away from China," said Steve Lamar, president and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association. "As brands did their best to restructure their sourcing models to protect American consumers and American global value chain workers from increased costs caused by the administration’s tariffs, and follow the administration’s edict to diversify from China, many turned to their trusted partners in Vietnam. Imposing new punitive tariffs on imports from Vietnam would cause extreme disruption, directly threatening those investments and increasing prices for hard-working American families at the register or costs on the supply chains that directly support millions of U.S. jobs.
"This is not the time to impose new costs on U.S. supply chains, particularly on those job creators who are still recovering from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he continued. “Further, new punitive tariffs could make it even harder to source the personal protective equipment that our communities need to safely regrow the economy.
"Tariffs are taxes on American consumers and American workers,” he added. “It is time for the administration to take a different approach to trade policy, one that does not punish American consumers, American workers, and the American communities they support."
Vietnam is the second largest supplier of apparel, footwear and travel goods to the U.S. market, and has experienced dramatic growth since 2016.