Mexico’s government said it will impose a tariff of up to 30 percent on footwear imports, part of a package of measures to combat what it says is unfair competition in that sector.
During the Leather and Footwear Fair in the central city of Leon, Mexican Finance Secretary Luis Videgaray said all footwear imports will be hit with a tariff equivalent to between 25 percent and 30 percent of their declared customs value.
The package of measures nullifies a decree that had established a program of phased tariff reductions.
In recent years, Mexico has carried out an “indiscriminate process” of opening up its market to imports, including those that enter the country with “unjustifiably low” prices, Videgaray said.
“We eliminated benchmark prices and decided unilaterally to begin reducing tariffs, and for industry, from the perspective of industrial policy, that essentially amounted to wishing them good luck,” he added.
In addition to suspending the phased tariff reductions, Videgaray said estimated prices will be re-established for footwear imports.
All importers that ship footwear whose reported (declared) price at customs is lower than the estimated price must cover the duties that arise from that differential.
Among other measures, footwear will only be allowed to be imported through nine customs offices – Lazaro Cardenas, Manzanillo, Mexico, Guadalajara, Veracruz, Tijuana, the Mexico City International Airport, Ciudad Hidalgo and Nuevo Laredo – as opposed to 33 prior to the changes.
These measures, which will take effect in September and October, are included in an decree that President Enrique Peña Nieto signed on Wednesday and will be published on Friday in the official gazette.