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OIA Wants Footwear Act Passed

Published October 30, 2008

WASHINGTON, D.C. (BRAIN)—In testimony submitted to the House Committee on Ways and Means, the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) urged Congress to consider the current and future economic challenges faced by the outdoor industry and encouraged enactment of a comprehensive package that reduces business costs, helps stabilize retail prices and includes the Affordable Footwear Act.

The Committee hearing was held to discuss economic recovery and consider what to include in a potential economic stimulus package that may be considered in a post-election session of Congress.

OIA has joined a coalition of retailers, manufacturers and other associations in calling on Congress to pass the Affordable Footwear Act as part of any stimulus package or other appropriate legislation that is to be considered.

The Affordable Footwear Act, or AFA, eliminates outdated tariffs on most kinds of footwear. These duties, instituted in 1930 under the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, no longer serve the intended purpose of protecting a U.S. footwear industry and are now nothing more than an excessively high and unnecessary tax on shoes, some as high as 67 percent.

With the support of the few remaining domestic footwear manufacturers, the AFA has attracted a bipartisan group of 157 sponsors in the House of Representatives (including 21 from the Ways and Means Committee) and 14 U.S. Senators (six of whom serve on the Senate Finance Committee).

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