FINANCE

Study: Over 75% of apparel, footwear will still be hit with tariffs Sept. 1

BY Marianne Wilson

An industry group wants to set the record straight about the tariff delay supposed to protect American consumers during the holiday shopping season.

The Trump administration on Tuesday said it was delaying imposing 10% tariffs on certain products imported from China until December 15. The new tariffs, which will impact a wide array of consumer goods, were originally set to go into effect on Sept. 1.

But according to a new analysis by the American Apparel & Footwear Association, 77% of all apparel, footwear, and home textile products imported to the U.S. from China will be hit with an additional 10% tariff on Sept. 1 – amounting to approximately $39 billion worth of goods. Only 23% of all apparel, footwear, and home textile products imported to the U.S. from China will be hit with an additional 10% tariff on Dec. 15 – amounting to approximately $12 billion worth of goods.

“By no means is this a win or a de-escalation,” said Rick Helfenbein, president and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association. “Contrary to the headlines, the Grinch has stolen the Christmas selling season for our industry.

Helfenbein noted that several statements were made claiming that the delay of some tariffs were to protect American consumers during the holiday shopping season.

“While we’re glad the administration is finally confirming that American consumers pay the tariffs, unfortunately many common holiday items are being hit on Sept. 1 — including holiday stockings,” he said.

The association executive also questions the administration’s claims that some products were removed entirely from the tariff list for reasons of “health, safety, national security and other factors.”

“However it is hard to see how this logic was applied since items like infant apparel, allergy-resistant bedding, and protective footwear are still on the list,” Helfenbein said. “Meanwhile, items that were removed from previous tariff lists are now being freshly taxed, including items like machinery and textiles used to make products in America.”

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