More than 170 footwear companies including Nike, Adidas and Converse have warned that shoe prices could skyrocket if President Donald Trump goes ahead with plans to increase tariffs on Chinese imports
In a letter dated 20th May, major shoe giant companies signed an open letter to the U.S. president and posted it on the industry trade association’s site. “On behalf of our hundreds of millions of footwear consumers and hundreds of thousands of employees, we ask that you immediately stop this action,” the group said.
The protest comes as U.S.,-China trade tensions escalate and Trump threatens to impose tariffs as high as 25% on Chinese goods–including all types of footwear, from sneakers to Sandals. Trump will discuss the tariffs with Chinese President Xi Jinping next month.
“The industry already pays around $3 billion in duties each year. Adding a 25% tax increase on top of these tariffs would mean some American families could pay a nearly 100% duty on their shoes.”
That sentiment has been echoed around the industry. “We don’t make enough to absorb that,” said Micheal Jeppesen, president of global operations for Wolverine World Wide Inc., which also signed the letter.
Matt Priest, president and chief executive of the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America, an industry group, said many retailers have already begun to map out costs for spring 2020 and that some of its are worried that the new tariffs will put them out of business. He said, the organization has not heard anything from the White House yet on this issue.