U.S. levies 5% tax on Honduran socks despite FTA

The United States has levied a five per cent tariff on imports of socks from Honduras. Although the levy is lower than local producers feared it would be, it is still surprising, given the presence of a free trade agreement between the two countries.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

"The import tax that will apply to the importation of socks will be five per cent from July to December and will disappear in January 2009," the president of the Association of Maquiladoras of Honduras, Jesús Canahuati, told reporters.
The Americans say they imposed the tariff because imports from Honduras have doubled since the treaty went into effect in 2006, and are causing job losses in the U.S.

However, the Honduras product serves only about 10 per cent of the market, while sock imports from Pakistan and China provide about 50 per cent of the market supply.

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Honduran Sock Exports Double

December 2009

Socks exports to the United States will reach $5.4 million by the end of the year, 101% more than 2008, when $2.7 million were sold.

"Honduras textile industry improved in this segment, despite the fact that total textile and apparel exports to the U.S. fell 7%", commented Guillermo Matamoros, director of the Honduran Maquila Association (AHM).

Honduran Socks Exports on the Rise

July 2009

After the U.S. socks tariff was waived on January 1st, exports have increased 15%.

An article in Laprensa.hn reports that "Gullermo Matamoros, director of the Honduran Maquila Association, explained that despite the global crisis, Honduras remains the world's top exporter of the product.

US sock makers wage war on Gildan imports

May 2008

Just two years after launching an ambitious plan to become a major player in the North American hosiery business, Gildan Activewear Inc. finds itself caught up in an international trade dispute over the flood of socks into the U.S. from Honduras.

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US to impose tariff on Honduran sock imports

April 2008

The Bush administration decided yesterday to impose a 5 percent tariff on Honduran socks later this year after finding that imports of low-priced cotton footwear from Central America were hurting struggling sock makers in North Carolina and Alabama.

Though the move could temporarily improve U.S.-made sock sales by boosting the price of Honduran socks, smaller domestic sock makers called the gesture a sham that will do little to prop up their rapidly vanishing businesses.

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