$4.5 billion-dollar tariff break back


Among the tariff suspension bills considered by the 110th Congress, which went out of business before passing any of the them, one stood out: the Affordable Footwear Act. Most tariff suspension bills–which temporarily reduce taxes on imported goods–have only one sponsor. This one drew 157 co-sponsors. Most tariff bills benefit one firm, or at most a handful of firms; this one was accompanied by 111 pages of letters, all but three of which were from supporters. Most tariff bills cost the Treasury at most a couple of million while they’re in effect; this one had at 2009 price tag of $810 million; over five years, it would cost $4.5 billion, according to the U.S. International Trade Commission.

Now, it’s back. The Affordable Footwear Act — which on my first skim looks exactly like the last Affordable Foot Act — was introduced in the Senate by Sen. John Ensign, and now has nine co-sponsors. And lobbyists are already lining up to push the bill for their clients.

The Affordable Footwear Act would lower tariffs on shoe imports from China, so it will be worth keeping an eye on foreign agent registrations as well.