The US Hide, Skin and Leather Association (USHSLA) today joined other industry associations in urging Congress to establish a programme that allows US origin textiles and leather exported abroad to be deducted from the dutiable value of a finished good when the good is imported into the US.

The programme would build upon existing customs rules that already allows importers to deduct the cost of US metal materials from the value of the imported article by adding similar exemptions for US exports of textiles and leather (see full letter attached). Under the current rules, the value of those US metal components is not assessed the US tariff when an article that incorporates those components is imported. 

“The strength and future growth of the U.S. hides and skins industry depends on a robust export market for those products,” said USHSLA president Stephen Sothmann.  “We encourage Congress to take swift action to establish a program that will incentivize the use of U.S. hides and leather in articles made abroad, which will in turn bolster US export values and secure thousands of American jobs.”   

The proposed programme would firmly root US inputs into global production supply chains by signaling that US content – whether that content comes in the form of a recognized standā€alone component or is otherwise incorporated into a finished article – is exempt from an applicable import duty.

The US hides and skins industry exported more than $2.08 billion in cattle hides, pig skins and semi-processed leather products in 2017, representing a $40 million increase compared to 2016. US hides and skins companies – including producers, processors, brokers and dealers – regularly export more than 90% of total US production.