FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the U.S. Fashion Industry Association joins hundreds of American companies who are speaking out against the Trump Administration's proposal to impose additional tariffs on American families. Our message is clear -- These tariffs are a tax that will be paid by American companies and ultimately by American consumers.
USFIA calls on the Administration to exempt all clothing, home textiles and footwear from these retaliatory tariffs. Clothing, home textiles and shoes for American families are currently taxed more than $15 billion per year. And these tariffs already are extremely high -- tariffs on clothing can be as high as 32 percent. Tariffs are a direct tax on the American consumer—and will affect consumers at all income levels, from the single parent struggling to make ends meet as they purchase back-to-school necessities for their kids, to the consumer of high-end fashion manufactured in the United States, and every American family in between.
In USFIA’s statement we highlight the fact that these tariffs will hurt American brands, retailers and wholesalers. Higher prices and lower sales will threaten jobs: from entry level retail positions to highly paid design, sourcing and e-commerce positions.
We also rebut the claims that higher tariffs will bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. USFIA and our members support Made in USA and manufacturing in the U.S., but there is not the capacity to make apparel in the United States today. “Apparel and textile supply chains are complex, and already involve inputs from multiple countries. Talking with sourcing executives, they say that it takes anywhere from two to five years to identify and approve a new vendor.” In USFIA’s 2019 Benchmarking Survey, which will be released in July, not a single respondent said that they had found the capacity for production to return to the U.S. And some respondents said they are worried that the China tariffs will increase costs for their Made in USA products and exports.
These tariffs on imports of clothing, home textiles and footwear will do little to punish China for its intellectual property and technology transfer practices but do a lot to harm American fashion brands and retailers as well as consumers of their products. Let’s find a solution that does not use American companies and American families as the hostages to a trade deal.