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Duties on China-Made Footwear Topped 65% in October

As tariffs and related costs and risks continued to influence sourcing decisions, China’s market share of U.S. footwear imports took a step down in the year to date through October.

In the period, shipments of footwear into the U.S. from China represented a 48.8 percent share for a value of $10.65 billion, down from 49.39 percent the previous month, according to the Commerce Department’s Office of Textiles & Apparel (OTEXA). Compared to the same 10 months in 2018, footwear imports from China fell 10.5 percent from $11.9 billion.

October shipments came after 10 percent tariffs were imposed on Sept. 1 on Chinese goods entering the U.S. “Duties remain problematic for the industry, reaching $335.7 million in October, close to the September record,” the Footwear Distributors & Retailers of America (FDRA) said.

The average duties per pair from the rest of the world fell 1.5 percent in October from a year earlier, while duties per pair from China jumped 65.5 percent, FDRA said.

The next four top footwear suppliers posted gains for the 10 months through October. According to OTEXA, imports from Vietnam increased 11.4 percent to a value of $5.75 billion in the year-to-date period. This gave Vietnam a 26.4 percent market share, up from 26.04 percent a month earlier.

Imports from Indonesia rose 9.2 percent to $1.42 billion, while shipments from Italy were up 0.24 percent to $1.28 billion and imports from India gained 5.4 percent to $386.21 million.

For the month, the volume of footwear reaching U.S. shores fell 8.8 percent, the largest decline in 32 months, according to FDRA. This was brought down by a 19.2 percent drop in shipments from China, partially offset by a 20.4 percent gain from Indonesia and a 9.3 percent hike from Vietnam.

Bootwear imports declined 15.1 percent, the most in 26 months—as sagging shipments from China more than offset increases from the rest of the world, FDRA noted. Athletic footwear imports rose 1.7 percent in October from the prior month, as higher shipments from Vietnam and Indonesia offset another decrease from China.