Affordable Footwear Act Introduced in Senate

The Affordable Footwear Act is gaining momentum in Congress.

The legislation was formally introduced on Wednesday in the U.S. Senate by Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), and co-sponsored by Senators Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), and Patty Murray (D-Wash.).

“This is the first time the bill has been introduced to the Senate, so this is exciting,” said Matt Priest, president of the Footwear Distributors & Retailers of America. “Next week, a House version is supposed to be introduced, too. These will be introduced separately and then attached to other pieces of legislation, so it still has a ways to go, but it’s encouraging.”

If the bill is passed, about $800 million worth of duties on children’s and low-cost shoes would be eliminated, easing the tax burden on economically challenged famillies.

“At a time when they can least afford it, hardworking American families are about to face the first increase in apparel and footwear prices in more than a decade,” Kevin Burke, president and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association, said in a statement. “The swift passage of the Affordable Footwear Act is one way Congress can help alleviate rising commodity and supply-chain costs that threaten to drive up the price of footwear and most other consumer goods.”