AAFA laments China tariff ruling, applauds Vietnam resolution
Posted October 6, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – American Apparel & Footwear Association President and CEO Steve Lamar expressed concerns with the Biden administration’s plans to continue collecting tariffs on American companies following the Oct. 4 speech by U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai.
“At a time when industry is struggling with an unprecedented supply chain crisis due to our crumbling infrastructure, economic fallout from a damaging pandemic and unprecedented freight costs, it is distressing that the administration has chosen to continue to subject U.S. companies to these damaging taxes,” Lamar said. “Although restarting an exclusion process is an important step forward, the far better course would have been to discontinue use of these tariffs entirely.
"The tariffs currently being imposed on clothing, footwear, and travel goods were part of a failed trade war strategy,” he continued. “As we have learned during the past couple years, trade wars are not ‘good and easy to win’ and, in fact, such tariffs are hurtful to American consumers, American workers and American business."
AAFA has been a vocal advocate for the removal of the Section 301 tariffs and the ongoing supply chain crisis, including a recent letter to Ambassador Tai calling for tariff exemptions to help American companies.
AAFA welcomes resolution between U.S., Vietnam
Separately, AAFA Lamar responded to the announcement by the United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai on Oct. 1, that Vietnam has addressed U.S. concerns in the Vietnam Timber Section 301 investigation:
“We are pleased to see that U.S. apparel, footwear and accessories imports from Vietnam will not be subjected to additional tariffs,” he said. “At a time when we are focusing on getting more vaccines to this key trade partner and unlock snarled supply chains, removal of this tariff threat is welcome indeed. We are also pleased to see Vietnam and the U.S. solidify their work to guard against illegal timber harvesting an important step for Vietnam’s sustainability journey.
“As the second largest supplier of apparel, footwear and travel goods to the U.S. market, Vietnam has experienced dramatic growth since 2016. Additionally, Vietnam has become an important supplier of personal protective equipment (PPE),” he added. “All tariff relief and removal of tariff threats is good trade policy, as taxing Americans to get dressed each day is never a good negotiating tactic.”
AAFA has continuously pressed the Biden administration for additional Section 301 tariff exclusions and retroactive renewal of all expired exclusions. Last week, AAFA penned a letter to the U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai on this issue and the simultaneous shipping crisis causing out of control freight rates, historic logjams at U.S. ports, delays and costs that are wreaking havoc on supply chains and America’s economic recovery.