Trump’s New Shoe Tariff Threat: Analyzing the Price Increases That Could Hit Consumers

Anxiety is building across the industry after President Donald Trump ordered U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to begin the process of raising tariffs on nearly all remaining imports from China, which are valued at approximately $300 billion.

If Trump ultimately moves forward with the hikes, which would impact footwear, both companies and consumers would be hit hard. According to the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA), retail price increases could be “staggering.”

The president’s latest threat was announced on Friday evening after a new round of tariff increases, which did not include shoes, went into effect following a breakdown in talks with China. (Trump raised tariffs from 10% to 25% on $200 billion in Chinese imports.)

“We simply cannot understand why President Trump would use American footwear consumers as a bargaining chip in his fight with China. These added tariffs will drive up shoe prices for U.S. consumers, take away disposable income, and hit working class individuals and families the hardest,” said Matt Priest, president and CEO of FDRA. “Higher costs for our consumers means we sell less shoes. This threatens jobs in our industry and could put U.S. footwear companies out of business. [Shoe firms] already pay $3 billion in tariffs every year, and such a significant increase on top of this burden would be devastating for our industry.”

FDRA crunched the numbers to illustrate how much of a price hike consumers could face if new shoe tariffs go into effect. The organization examined shoes (sneakers, boots and children’s shoes) that the average American buys in a chain store at current duty rates — and then looked at how those prices would increase with a 25% additional tariff.

*Estimates are based on landed costs, duty, and final import price. To determine the final retail prices, FDRA calculated warehouse, marketing, transit, stocking and labor costs and also considered margins.

SNEAKERS:

Now:

Import Price: $14.60

Current Duty Rate: 14.1%

Duty: $2.06

Final Import Price: $16.06

Final Retail: $48.18 *

After Proposed Tariffs

Import Price: $14.60

Current Duty Rate: 14.1%

Duty: $2.06

Additional Duty: 25%

New Duty: $5.71

New Final Import Price: $20.31

New Final Retail: $60.93*

BOOTS:

Now

Import Price: $16.18

Current Duty Rate: 37.5%

Duty: $6.07

Final Import Price: $22.25

Final Retail: $66.74 *

After Proposed Tariffs

Import Price: $16.18

Current Duty Rate: 37.5%

Duty: $6.07

Additional Duty: 25%

New Duty: $10.11

New Final Import Price: $32.36

New Final Retail: $97.08 *

CHILDREN’S SHOES

Now

Import Price: $4.25

Current Duty Rate: 9.52%

Duty: $0.40

Final Import Price: $4.65

Final Retail: $13.96 *

After Proposed Tariffs

Import Price: $4.25

Current Duty Rate: 9.52%

Duty: $0.40

Additional Duty: 25%

New Duty: $1.87

New Final Import Price: $6.12

New Final Retail: $18.36 *

FDRA is calling on the industry to tweet and raise awareness of the issue on social media.

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