AAFA Says More Support is Needed to End Shipping Crisis, as Inflation Impacts Shoppers

July 15, 2021 | WASHINGTON, D.C.

American Apparel & Footwear Association President and CEO Steve Lamar emphasized the need for additional federal support to address an ongoing shipping crisis that has caused a "destructive cycle of lengthening delays and rocketing costs” in a letter to President Joseph R. Biden today. The letter is the second sent by the industry regarding this issue, and follows the June Consumer Price Index report that showed significant inflation among apparel and footwear products.
While Lamar welcomed efforts to pass a comprehensive bipartisan infrastructure bill, as well as the President’s June 9 Executive Order that directs the Federal Maritime Commission to consider additional rules to counter unfair detention and demurrage costs, Lamar noted that American businesses need assistance now. In the short-term, Lamar highlighted the industry’s support for the removal of Section 301 tariffs and the renewal of the Generalized System of Preferences and Miscellaneous Tariff Bill.
“The next several months are critical to the American retail industry, as we prepare for back-to-school and holiday shopping. If action is not taken, we risk empty shelves that would trip up our nation’s economic recovery,” said Steve Lamar, president and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association. “This week’s inflation news shows that this is already having an effect on consumers. While there are many medium and long-term actions that must be taken, the President can have an immediate impact on American small businesses and American consumers by ending the previous administration’s punitive Section 301 tariffs that continue to hamstring our industry.”
The full letter is available for download here. AAFA’s previous letter (June 15) on the crisis, which includes anonymous anecdotes from AAFA members detailing the impact of the crisis on their businesses, is available here.