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The Affordable Footwear Act Is a Real Thing

Michael Blann | Digital Vision | Getty Images

Apparently this is real.

Arlington, VA – The Retail Industry Leaders Association(RILA) welcomed the introduction of common sense legislation today aimed at eliminating the hidden and regressive tax on low-cost and children’s shoes.

Introduced by Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and co-sponsored by Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO), Pat Roberts (R-KS), and Patty Murray (D-WA), the Affordable Footwear Act (S. 1069), will ease the tax burden on American consumers who unknowingly pay upwards of 40 percent beyond the cost of a pair of shoes at retail to cover the import duty, or shoe tax, on shoes made outside of the United States.

Passage of the Affordable Footwear Act would eliminate about $800 million in duties on children’s and low-cost shoes out of the $2 billion in total duties collected on imported shoes in 2010. Last year 99 percent of the shoes bought in the United States were sourced internationally, making it impossible for hardworking Americans to avoid this archaic tax.

“With millions of Americans still without work and skyrocketing food and gas prices, the hidden and regressive shoe tax places another burden on hardworking Americans families at a time when they can least afford it,” said Stephanie Lester, vice president of international trade.

“We applaud Senator Cantwell for re-introducing the Affordable Footwear Act,” said Lester. “Now, more than ever, relief is needed from a tariff that unnecessarily raises the cost of a basic necessity and we look forward to working with Congress to advance this legislation.”

Quick passage of the Affordable Footwear Act will help to further stimulate the economic recovery by lowering the cost of a basic necessity, restoring consumer confidence and increasing retail sales.

RILA encourages lawmakers to act swiftly.

RILA is the trade association of the world’s largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.

My favorite part is the bit about "restoring consumer confidence."

The only thing they left out is that this would "strengthen our financial system."

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