Clothing and Footwear Industry Flags Immediate Opportunities to Curb Spiraling Inflation on Consumer Goods

February 10, 2022 | WASHINGTON, D.C.

American Apparel & Footwear Association President and CEO Steve Lamar reacted to this morning’s January 2022 Consumer Price Index report, showing apparel prices surging in January, up 5.1% in over 2021, with infant clothing up 8.8%. Prices for footwear, a basic need, rose 6.1% in January over January 2021.

 “These price increases are not subtle and not sustainable. Consumers are feeling taxed at the register – online and in-store – due to record-setting inflationary pressure,” said Steve Lamar, president and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association. “When we say record-fees, this includes both the tariffs – or taxes – the U.S. government charges on imported consumer goods as well as the unjust price gouging that continues to wreak havoc on global supply chains.
“AAFA continues to call on the Biden administration to pursue swift and effective policies to immediately alleviate the increasingly overwhelming costs on companies and address the shipping crisis. Number one, we need to see immediate elimination and refund of punitive Section 301 tariffs on U.S. imports from China. We also need President Biden to engage on negotiations around the soon-to-expire West Coast port labor contract and bring all stakeholders to the table to implement real solutions to the shipping crisis.
“Congress must also immediately renew the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) trade preference programs and pass the Ocean Shipping Reform Act (OSRA 21). This will allow for more oversight of foreign ocean carriers and provide relief for American businesses and American consumers.
“Congress is making progress on critical American competitiveness legislation, as embodied in the America COMPETES Act and the Make it in America Act. Provisions in bills in the Senate and the House would protect American companies from price gouging by foreign ocean carriers, improve online accountability and safety, and mitigate inflationary pressures. Until the Biden administration takes action and Congress approves these measures, our members will continue to suffer, and American families will continue to see unprecedented inflation. 

Last week, AAFA applauded House passage of the America COMPETES Act and called on the Senate to pass OSRA 21. On January 10, AAFA sent an urgent letter to President Biden to take action to avoid continued inflation and other economic disruptions.