Retailers and apparel importers breathed a sigh of relief late Tuesday when the industry largely skirted President Trump’s regime of tariffs on goods from China.
But the new duties don’t look good for the Made in the USA movement.
The American Apparel & Footwear Association applauded the absence of duties on apparel, footwear, travel goods from China when the proposed list of goods was handed down by the U.S. Trade Representative’s office.
“Tariffs are a hidden, regressive tax on Americans and such a decision would have had a disastrous impact on American consumers,” said Rick Helfenbein, president and chief executive officer of the AAFA. “At the same time, we are concerned that the list includes tariffs on machinery used in our domestic manufacturing process. This would directly raise costs on domestic manufacturers and impact our ability to grow Made in the USA.”
The proposed duties would cover knitting, embroidery and textile braiding machines, looms, numerous parts of textile spinning and twisting machinery, various forms of finishing machinery, sewing machines and sewing needles, machinery for preparing and working leather and machinery for making and repairing footwear, among other items that are likely to affect the domestic manufacture of apparel and accessories.