What:Sens. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., and Maria Cantwell, D-WA recently introduced a bill in Congress, called The Affordable Footwear Act of 2007, the would reduce/eliminate import tariffs (aka “shoe tax”) on low to moderately priced footwear ($50 or less).
The Lowdown: From the Portland Business Journal: The Affordable Footwear Act of 2007 would eliminate the import tariffs, collectively known as the shoe tax, on all lower- to moderately priced footwear as well as all children’s shoes, or about 60 percent of all shoes sold in the United States. The bill would roughly affect shoes that cost $50 or less.
What I say: Over 99% of shoes sold in the US are imported and apparently higher end shoes aren’t subject to the import tax. According the people at the Affordable Footwear Initiative (aka the lobbying group, American Apparel and Footwear Association), the price of shoes could be reduced by as much as 40%. However, the real question is whether manufacturers and/or retailers would pass those savings on to consumers.