CEC and American Footwear Industries Sign Declaration on T-TIP
On the occasion of the second International Footwear Forum, which was held on the 9th of June 2016 in New York, the European Confederation of the Footwear Industry (CEC), the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA), and the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA) gathered together the day before to sign a declaration supporting the removal of trade barriers for footwear in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
With the TTIP negotiations still underway, representatives of the European and American footwear industries joined forces and urged the negotiators of the TTIP on both sides to accelerate the negotiations since a positive outcome has the potential to considerably boost transatlantic footwear trade, which has already been rising steadily in the last few years. From 2014 to 2015 alone, EU footwear exports to the US increased by 9 percent in numbers of pairs, and 19 percent in value; while US exports to the EU rose by 14 percent in pairs and 27 percent in value. This positive trend has taken place in spite of the high tariffs, which range up to 67.5%, as well as burdensome customs procedures, which indicates that there is a strong consumer demand for the footwear products from the respective trading partners. Lifting trade barriers would enable further access to these products by consumers and benefit both European and American footwear manufacturers.
The declaration was signed on the 8th of June, the day before the second International Footwear Forum on the 8th of June in New York, an event organised by the CEC with the support of the FDRA and hosted by the Fashion Footwear Association of New York (FFANY). The Forum is an annual event which aims to bring worldwide footwear associations and federations together to discuss common challenges in the footwear industry. The three footwear associations took this opportunity to voice their common vision for the TTIP and urge the negotiators to agree on a text which:
- Ensures full, immediate, and reciprocal elimination of all tariffs for duty-free access to footwear products
- Harmonises labelling, product safety, testing regulations, and prohibited substances to avoid duplicating costs
- Facilitates customs provisions
- Allows more flexibility in the determination of the rules of origin
- Promotes regulatory convergence and/or mutual recognition of regulations and standards, while guaranteeing consumers’ safety.