January 31, 2018
2018 State of the Union and What it Means for Shoes
Last night, President Trump delivered his first official State of the Union address and outlined his 2018 priorities. Read below for a breakdown of four key takeways from last night's speech.
“Tonight, the president discussed trade and highlighted the importance of focusing on policies that strengthen our economy. The U.S. footwear industry believes trade is critical to both economic growth and America’s competitiveness. As an industry that provides consumers high-quality footwear from all over the world, it is vitally important that our government continues to look for ways to lessen the footwear import tax burden on American families."

- FDRA President & CEO Matt Priest, January 30th, 2018

Senate Action Needed to Advance MTB for Footwear Duty Relief
The House passed the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) this month with an overwhelming vote of 402 to 0, and the Senate will likely consider the bill next month. For decades, Congress has used this important tool to provide temporary tariff cuts to non-sensitive products, including some types of footwear. Under the new MTB process, FDRA filed a number of footwear petitions on behalf of Member companies, and more than 60 footwear requests were included in the final bill. Below you can view a list of all the footwear petitions that have advanced. The list includes a breakdown by company, tariff line, recommended duty reduction, and article description needed to qualify for the temporary duty relief once the bill is approved by Congress.

FDRA's Annual Customs Working Group Meeting in New York
Thanks to everyone who joined us yesterday for the 2018 Customs Working Group meeting in New York. As a reminder, FDRA members can access the agenda, materials from the event, and Customs documents on the Working Group page below. Also, be sure to let us know if you want to join the Working Group to stay connected with other footwear professionals, receive updates, and discuss key issues impacting footwear classification.

Four Big Takeaways from the 2018 State of the Union
The Economy : President Trump touted the strength of the U.S. economy, citing robust 2017 jobs numbers, rising wages, and low unemployment.
Trade : While the President described detailed plans for infrastructure and immigration, he devoted only five short sentences to international trade and did not include his frequent criticism of the U.S. trade deficit, which has grown as the economy has grown.
Deadlines : The President identified as domestic policy priorities: increased infrastructure and defense spending, job training, prison reform, prescription drug prices, and immigration. Not mentioned was the short timeframe for Congress to address several big items.
Length : The speech lasted 1 hour and 20 minutes, making it the third longest State of the Union address of all time. President Bill Clinton still holds the record for both the first and second longest, 1 hour 29 minutes (2000) and 1 hour and 25 minutes (1995).
New Coalition to Address De Minimis and FTZs
In 2016, Congress increased the de minimis value for Section 321 shipments to $800 or less per day, per customer. This allows individual shipments, valued at $800 or less, to enter the U.S. duty free. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)'s interpretation of the new law, however, currently excludes these shipments when they are withdrawn from a U.S.-based Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) distribution center. FDRA is part of a new coalition that has formed to address this issue through advocacy with Congress and the Administration. If your company is interested in being directly involved in these efforts, or if you would like more information, please email FDRA Director of Government Affairs Thomas Crockett at tcrockett@fdra.org .
Need a Quick Refresher on Chapter 64 of the HTS?
Watch the recent video from FDRA Customs Counsel John Pellegrini for some key highlights of the footwear chapter of the U.S.Tariff Code:
Watch: 2018 Congressional Preview Webinar
FDRA hosted an important webinar earlier this month on Congress, the Administration, and what to expect in 2018. View the full webinar here: