According to the FDRA (Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America), U.S. annual footwear imports rose by 5.8 percent in value terms and by 5.7 percent in volume terms from 2014, growing at the fastest paces in the last four and five years, respectively. The organization said that the close of the year was impressive, with the highest December dollar and volume totals on record.
China remained by far the largest supplier to U.S. consumers, although the annual share of the U.S. footwear import market slid to 65.6 percent, a fifteen-year low. Vietnam expanded its share of the U.S. import market the most, posting a 21.9 percent growth for the year to an unprecedented $4.3 billion in total value at the border. Athletic footwear imports grew by 11.6 percent while children's footwear imports grew by 8.6 percent.
The U.S. footwear industry paid $2.9 billion in duties in 2015, an increase of $200 million over 2014. The FDRA estimates that the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) would now save the footwear industry half a billion dollars in duties on year one of implementation. The TPP is the trade agreement among twelve Pacific Rim countries that was signed on Feb. 4, 2016 in Auckland, New Zealand, after seven years of negotiations. The agreement has not yet come into force.