The on-going coronavirus pandemic continues to negatively impact a majority of businesses across America, including over 100,000 jobs already lost within the footwear industry.
Today, the Footwear Distributors & Retailers of America's (FDRA) President and CEO Matt Priest sent a letter to the Trump Administration asking to extend the current duty deferment plan for imported goods, which was put in place last month. The current plan only covers items imported between March and April and now, the FDRA is asking for the government to defer duties, taxes, and fees to the end of this year.
According to Priest, the duties will still be paid a later date but would free up financial resources from companies in order to continue operations and preserve U.S. jobs. A survey ran by the FDRA showed that 70 percent of shoe executives across the industry expect footwear sales to drop around 20-40 percent this year, suggesting it may take at least 6 months before the supply chain operations return to normal.
Priest's full statement to the Trump Administration regarding the extension of the duty deferment follows:
"Today, we called on the Trump Administration to extend its current duty deferment plan for the rest of the year. This would free up much-needed capital to help U.S. footwear companies stay in business and preserve U.S. jobs. These duties would still be paid, just at a later date, so there is no loss to the federal government. We hope that everything is on the table to save our economy. If it is, then duty deferment is an easy way to ensure footwear companies and their workers have the liquidity they need to regain their footing during this unprecedented time."