On December 16, 2009, US House Representatives Joseph Crowley (D-NY) and Kevin Brady (R-TX) introduced legislation to eliminate duties on imports of various footwear products. The Affordable Footwear Act (H.R. 4316) is designed to eliminate what many regard as the regressive tax on footwear (i.e., higher duty rates for lower-valued merchandise) put in place in the 1930s to protect a manufacturing sector that no longer exists. The legislation would not, however, eliminate duties on imports of footwear that compete with the few footwear products manufactured in the United States. According to the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), 99 percent of all shoes purchased each year in the United States are made outside the United States.
Similar legislation (S. 730) sponsored by Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and John Ensign (R-NV) with 15 bipartisan cosponsors has been introduced in the Senate.