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US and European footwear industries together to support TTIP

Jun 9, 2016 / CEC
US and European footwear industries together to support TTIP
3 trade associations representing the US and European footwear industries issued a joint statement urging the United States and the European Union to eliminate footwear trade barriers as part of the TTIP negotiations
The statement, which was signed by the presidents of the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), the European Confederation of the Footwear Industry (CEC), and Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA) calls for several measures. On top of the list is the request for full, immediate and reciprocal elimination of all tariffs for duty-free access to footwear products.

The industry associations from both sides of the Atlantic also claimed harmonization of labelling, product safety, testing regulations and prohibited substances; inclusion of customs facilitation provisions; flexibility in the determination of the rules of origin and regulatory convergence and/or mutual recognition of regulations and standards.
 
"The US and European markets represent the largest global footwear arena, collectively purchasing 40% of the world's shoes", noted the AAFA President and CEO, Rick Helfenbein, adding: "Harmonization of footwear regulations and standards and duty-free access across this region will reduce cost and add definitive benefits to our members and to their customers."

"A satisfactory TTIP does not represent lowering the safety, social, and environmental standards in the footwear industry in any side of the Atlantic", explained Cleto Sagripanti, President of the CEC, adding: "Consumers, everyday more sensible to the nature and origin of products, should be guaranteed that American and European companies speak the same language in terms of the safety of shoes they manufacture".

"Lower footwear duties through the TTIP means American and European companies can create new good paying jobs across our supply chains," said FDRA President Matt Priest, adding: "As consumer tastes continue to rapidly change, we need free trade agreements like Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and TTIP to lower barriers and duties so our designers and supply chains can be unleashed to innovate and meet new consumer demands. TTIP means jobs, lower costs and innovation that will propel the footwear industry into a new era of growth and global competitiveness. FDRA believes in breaking down every trade barrier, and we are all in on TTIP."

The 14th round of the TTIP will take place in Europe during the summer.