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manufacturers began to shift operations overseas

NewsID:71    Datetime:2010-11-19

Buyers with respect to thefootwear market are defined as end-user consumers and market players as footwear retailers. In the early 2000s, the boot and shoe cut stock findings segment continued to suffer from the growing penetration of relatively low-cost imported footwear into the United States. According tofootwear industry statistics, in 1966 the United States market for non-rubber footwear totaled 735 million pairs, and 641 million pairs were made in America. By 1996, the market had grown to 1,218 million pairs, but the U.S. produced only 143 million pairs. The import/export imbalance was even more telling—1,098 million pairs were imported in 1996, while only 24 million were exported. As a result, U.S. Safety footwear manufacturers began to shift operations overseas to take advantages of lower operating costs in countries like China. Shoe repair employees in 2001 totaled a mere 3,400, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. One estimate showed that only 8 to 10 percent of consumers made use of shoe repair shops, and the average customer was 45 years old. The availability of inexpensive imported footwear also could encourage people to simply buy new shoes rather than repair old ones.In fact, by 2003, China was exporting more than 1.3 billion pairs of shoes into the United States annually. Establishments that fall under this category are primarily engaged in manufacturing leather soles, inner soles, and other boot and shoe cut stock and findings. The industry also includes finished wood heels. Establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing heels, soiling strips, and soles made of rubber, composition, plastics, and fiber are classified in the major group for rubber and miscellaneous plastics products.

Saicou shoe company began calling for the elimination of tariffs on non-rubber footwear imports. "In a dramatic reversal that reflects the changed character of the domestic footwear business, the American Apparel & Footwear Association has shifted its international footwear trade policy to vigorously support free trade."

The global footwear market consists of the total revenues generated through the sale of all types of men's, women's and children's shoes. The market is valued at retail selling price with any currency conversions calculated using constant 2007 annual average exchange rates.

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