U.S. Tariffs On Shoes Favor Well-Heeled Buyers

Hardly anyone, outside of a high school civics class, spends time thinking about import tariffs, the tax the government puts on most things imported into the country. But tariffs are part of the real cost of many of the things we buy, and some of the biggest tariffs in the U.S. are on shoes.

Oddly, the cheaper the shoes, the higher the tariff. A pair of $3 canvas sneakers has the single highest tariff in the United States: 67 percent. But $12 sneakers are assessed 37 percent, and for $300 Italian leather imports, there's no tariff at all. Why are tariffs higher on the shoes that poorer people buy?

Now there's an effort in Congress to get rid of the shoe tariffs, but it might not succeed.

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