Apparel and Footwear Industry Group Reacts Following 'Phase One' Deal; Emphasizes that all Tariffs Should be Removed

December 13, 2019 | WASHINGTON, D.C.

The American Apparel & Footwear Association commented today on the announcement that the Trump administration has agreed to a “Phase One” deal with China that will reduce the tariff rate on many industry products and that will delay new tariffs that were scheduled to be imposed on December 15. The association noted the need for additional work to be done and the necessity that all remaining punitive tariffs be removed from the industry’s products.

“The tariff relief included in the ‘Phase One’ deal is welcome and could be a sign that the end of the trade war may be in sight,” said Rick Helfenbein, president and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association. “However, while this is a step in the right direction, it means American businesses, American consumers, and American workers are still being hammered – at an unacceptably high level – by tariffs imposed on U.S. imports from China and, in retaliation, by China’s imports from the U.S. The administration has imposed one of the largest consumer and manufacturing taxes in American history, most of which remains in place following this agreement. Rising costs are already working their way through supply chains and they will still have a negative impact going into next year. The trade war is a self-inflicted wound that has caused a lot of pain for America. The sooner these tariffs are eliminated, the better and we won’t stop pressing our case until this happens.” 

Early yesterday, AAFA sent a letter to President Trump calling for the elimination of tariffs currently in effect and the removal of the threatened tariffs that were scheduled for December 15