Now, however, comes what may be an insurmountable challenge. The Obama administration is negotiating a free-trade agreement with Vietnam and seven other countries, and it is unclear whether the plant can stand up to a flood of shoes from that country, already one of the leading exporters of footwear to the United States.
"We are deeply concerned by the inclusion of Vietnam in a potential free-trade agreement," said Rob DeMartini, president and chief executive of New Balance.
...The shoe tariff, by pushing up the cost of importing shoes, means a pair of athletic shoes made in the Norridgewock factory or anywhere else in the U.S. is more competitive than it otherwise would be, and partially offsets the costs of higher wages paid here. On a pair of shoes that comes into the country valued at $30, for example, a typical 20 percent duty amounts to $6. (In many cases, the markup amounts to 100 percent, meaning those shoes would sell to consumers for $72.)
Sunday, July 31, 2011
at 2:23 PM |