The fashion and footwear industries are fighting back against President Trump’s claim that his tariff delay on some items protects American consumers during the vital holiday shopping season.
The U.S. government announced earlier this week that it would delay imposing 10 percent tariffs on some products until Dec. 15, giving retailers a few months of extra breathing space to stock up for the crucial back-to-school and holiday shopping periods. It had previously planned to unleash levies on all remaining Chinese imports that had yet to be targeted on Sept. 1
But the American Apparel & Footwear Association’s analysis found that more than three-quarters of apparel, footwear and home textiles products imported to the U.S. from China will still be hit with an additional 10 percent tariff on Sept. 1 — amounting to approximately $39 billion worth of goods.
Only 23 percent of all apparel, footwear and home textile products imported to the U.S. from China will be hit with an additional 10 percent tariff on Dec. 15. This includes cashmere sweaters and ties — as long as they’re made up of 70 percent or less silk — and adds up to $12 billion.
Rick Helfenbein, president of the AAFA, said: “Several statements have been made claiming that the delay of some tariffs were to protect American consumers during the holiday shopping season. While we’re glad the administration is finally confirming that American consumers pay the tariffs, unfortunately many common holiday items are being hit on Sept. 1 — including holiday stockings.”
“The administration has just announced one of the largest tax increases in American history. The tax increase will hit Americans this holiday. It is time we realized this,” he added.
Helfenbein also question the administration’s claims to have removed some products entirely from the tariff list for reasons of “health, safety, national security and other factors.”
“It is hard to see how this logic was applied since items like infant apparel, allergy-resistant bedding, and protective footwear are still on the list. Meanwhile, items that were removed from previous tariff lists are now being freshly taxed, including items like machinery and textiles used to make products in America,” he said.
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