Fashion house Coach lobbies for tax breaks for PH-made bags
FASHION brand Coach and two American industry associations urged the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to include Philippine-made luggage and travel goods on its list of duty-free products.
Angus McRae, head of supply chain at the New York-based Coach Inc., said the fashion line viewed the Philippines “as a major sourcing partner with the potential to grow immediately. Philippine-based factories are capable of producing bags that meet Coach’s needs.”
McRae said it wanted to expand its sourcing options in the Philippines and other countries. “Coach estimates that it would shift the majority of its production currently taking place in China to a point where we rely on China for no more than 10 percent of our sourcing of travel goods within a few years.”
The USTR earlier this month announced leather goods from Sub-Saharan African countries have been included on the US’ generalized system of preferences (GSP). It, however, deferred ruling on the applications of the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, among others.
The American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) and Outdoor Industry Association expressed disappointment over the USTR’s decision.
“If President Obama had granted benefits to travel goods from all GSP-eligible countries, we estimate the industry would have received benefits that could exceed $75 million dollars during the first year alone,” AAFA president and CEO Rick Helfenbein said in a statement. Amy R. Remo
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