SEATTLE – The Washington Council on International Trade applauds Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Pat Roberts (R-KS) for their introduction of legislation that would eliminate tariffs on footwear imported from 120 developing countries. If passed, the GSP Footwear Act of 2017 would relieve outdoor companies and consumers from import taxes as high as 37.5%.

“This legislation is vital to Washington-based outdoor retailers,” said WCIT President Lori Otto Punke. “Staggering import tariffs hinder Washington state’s global competitiveness. Outdoor recreation retail is an $877 billion-dollar industry supporting almost 8 million local jobs, many of which are housed here in the Pacific Northwest. With 99% of apparel manufacturing taking place outside the U.S. in 2017, it’s vital we break down trade barriers to support the skilled, local workforce tied to the outdoor retail through retail marketing, merchandising, logistics, accounting, research, and more.”

Read more about supporting local retail on our retail competitiveness factsheet.