Skip to main content

FDRA President Matt Priest Responds to the State of the Union Address

The Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA) president Matt Priest provided the following comments on the President’s State of the Union Address on Tuesday:

“For years now our leaders have been negotiating a Pacific free trade agreement that would greatly benefit American consumers and the footwear industry by providing nearly half a billion dollars in duty savings. I am encouraged that tonight the President strongly outlined in his State of the Union speech the need to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in 2015. I was impressed he spoke so passionately about trade and is working to convince the public of its benefits and the Congress of the need to pass Trade Promotion Authority (TPA)——the same authority given to every President since Nixon. He will not be alone. The footwear industry is committed to telling its story and how TPA and TPP will help create and strengthen footwear design, marketing, logistics and retail jobs across America. The industry and our consumers paid over $2.7 billion in footwear duties in 2014, more than $400 million of which was taxed on TPP footwear imports alone. Imagine the impact on consumers and footwear companies if outdated footwear tariffs from the 1930s – reaching upwards of 67.5%——were eliminated on footwear out of TPP countries. I applaud the President for making a bipartisan appeal on this issue and believe tonight’s speech marks a huge step forward for our industry and American footwear consumers.”

Representing over 80 percent of the entire footwear industry, from small family-owned businesses to global footwear companies, FDRA serves as the voice of the footwear industry in Washington, D.C.