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FDRA Issues Report on South China Sea

Sovereignty debates in the South China Sea could have repercussions for the footwear industry, a new FDRA report said.

The Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America issued a special geopolitical report, sponsored by leather exporter Tata International, “What Conflict in the South China Sea Would Mean for the Footwear Industry,” that is available free of charge to industry members.

According to the report, tensions between China, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines, among other nations nearby in the South China Sea, could result in increased cost and slower delivery times for footwear manufacturers, as 95 percent of all footwear shipped to the U.S. flows through the area.

“This is a critical time in the history of global footwear production and sourcing,” the report reads. “With the continued reshuffling of footwear sourcing throughout the region, conflict in the Sea, both large and small, could have a substantial impact on costs, delivery and quality.”

Footwear industry executives said the report has significant business value, according to a release from the FDRA. “It made me more aware of supply chain challenges we may face, and has helped our supply chain and sourcing team think more critically,” Peter Hohensee, director of sourcing at Charlotte, N.C.-based Rack Room Shoes, said in the release.

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