Apparel and Footwear Industry Calls for Tariff Relief as Shipping Crisis Threatens American Companies and Employment 

September 23, 2021 | WASHINGTON, D.C.

American Apparel & Footwear Association President and CEO Steve Lamar sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai today, requesting relief from the Section 301 tariffs that are remnants of the Trump administration’s trade war and that are directly threatening the survival of thousands of businesses that are facing unprecedented shipping disruption. This follows a letter sent to President Joseph R. Biden on Monday regarding the shipping crisis.

“Out of control freight rates and historic log jams at U.S. ports are creating delays and costs that are wreaking havoc on supply chains,” wrote Lamar. “Every American company, whether engaged directly in international trade or an indirect beneficiary of international trade, is impacted by the chaos and cost increases caused by the shipping crisis.”

AAFA is calling on USTR to use its authority to provide immediate and short-term relief by retroactively reinstating Section 301 exclusions that have expired and suspending the collection of Section 301 tariffs going forward. According to AAFA, the millions of dollars made available by these actions would help those companies that are hardest hit by the shipping crisis and alleviate the shortage in truck chassis, caused in part by the Section 301 tariffs imposed on imported chassis. 

The full letter to Ambassador Tai is available to download here