Trade Bill Awaits Obama's Signature

The American Apparel & Footwear Association, which has long advocated for the renewal of expired and expiring trade measures, welcomed today's House vote to approve the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015. House approval of the trade preferences bill follows passage of the bill by the Senate yesterday. The bill now goes to the President to be signed into law.

AAFA released the following statement from its president & CEO Juanita D. Duggan:

"The measures included in the trade preferences bill passed today are critically important to our industry. Renewal of programs like AGOA, GSP, and the Haiti HOPE/HELP trade program provide sourcing stability, ensuring that U.S. companies doing business with those regions can do so without disruption.

"Renewal of these trade programs will provide immediate duty relief for clothing and shoe companies, which is good for the industry, the consumer, and for the four million U.S. workers our industry employs.

"With the update of the GSP program, we can now begin a process that will allow travel goods such as phone cases, luggage, backpacks, and handbags, imported from developing countries to receive duty-free access to the United States under the GSP program.

"We are thrilled to see trade preferences pass Congress and thank both the House and Senate for acting on this bill. We look forward to the President's signature."

The trade preferences bill includes long-term renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), the Haiti HOPE/HELP trade program, the retroactive renewal and update of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, and important clarifications to the tariff classifications for protective active footwear and performance outerwear.
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