Oddly, the cheaper the shoes, the higher the tariff. A pair of $3 canvas sneakers has the single highest tariff in the United States: 67 percent. But $12 sneakers are assessed 37 percent, and for $300 Italian leather imports, there's no tariff at all.
Apparently, tariffs going back into the early 20th century are still on the books for inexpensive shoes to protect a domestic industry which no longer exists. One reason--there's no one in Washington tasked with overseeing the myriad of tariffs the U.S. applies to a varied number of imports. Why aren't these tariffs removed? Because the issue isn't sexy enough to garner support, as there's no domestic industry currently impacted by them.
The direct link for the audio report:
Odd state of affairs. A tax which could have a direct impact on the budgets of low-income households if it was eliminated has little priority. I wonder how many other tariffs there are to "protect jobs" which no longer exist. As a free-marketeer, I find tariffs a bitter pill to swallow, especially when there's nothing to protect, and the tax paid isn't equal according to the value of the product.