Dozens of sporting goods brands sent a letter to Congress September 8 pledging to pass along some of the $2.8 billion they expect to save in duties if Congress ratifies the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.
“U.S. consumers will be among the top beneficiaries. When fully phased-in, the TPP will remove more than $2.8 billion of duties that are currently charged on U.S. imports of footwear, apparel, and travel goods,” read a copy of the letter addressed to members of the U.S. House of Representatives. “These savings will be passed along to U.S. consumers in a number of ways, including price breaks and investments in product and materials innovation.”
The letter kicked off a campaign by a coalition that includes seven industry trade associations, along with 111 brands, companies and other associations across the apparel, footwear, travel goods and retail industries. The group sent versions of the letter to each member of Congress requesting support for TPP. The full letter, along with all 118 signatories, is available here: House, Senate.
“This year’s back-to-school season reminds us that, if the TPP goes into effect, the agreement would provide significant benefits to American families every year by reducing the costs of new school clothes, shoes, backpacks, athletic equipment, and other school necessities for their children,” the letter stated in its first paragraph.
In addition to the letter to members of Congress, association presidents representing the American Apparel & Footwear Association, the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America, the National Retail Federation, Outdoor Industry Association, the Retail Industry Leaders Association, the Travel Goods Association and the U.S. Fashion Industry Association have co-authored an article highlighting the TPP’s potential impact on back-to-school shopping if approved by Congress. The co-authored op-ed, featured in The Hill, can be found here.
The TPP would join 12 nations, including the United States, into a single regional trade area representing 800 million consumers and more than 40 percent of the world’s gross domestic product. It is estimated that duty savings, as a result of the TPP, would exceed $1 billion in the first year alone.
Though the Obama administration’s continues to push, Congress is unlikely to vote on TPP during the lame duck session after the November elections due to its scope and complexity. Individual lawmakers have said provisions governing intellectual property protection for biologic drugs, dispute settlement, and storage of financial data will all need to be changed to give the agreement a reasonable chance of approval, according to the Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report.