TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Sector data: Leather Products

Sector chart: Covering NAIC code 316 'Leather and allied products'. This includes leather footwear, hides and other allied products (handbags, luggage etc).


According to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, establishments in the Leather and Allied Product Manufacturing sub-sector transform hides into leather by tanning or curing and fabricating the leather into products for final consumption. It also includes the manufacture of similar products from other materials, including products (except apparel) made from "leather substitutes," such as rubber, plastics, or textiles.

Rubber footwear, textile luggage, and plastics purses or wallets are examples of "leather substitute" products included in this group, as charted above and found in the data tables that have been compiled alongside. These are included under the NAIC 316 sector aggregation, which has been used as the basis of this data. The products made from leather substitutes are also included in this sub-sector because they are made in similar ways leather products are made (e.g. luggage). They are also often made in the same establishments, so it is not practical to separate them. 

Within this sector, Ethiopia is the AGOA beneficiary with the largest volume of exports to the United States, accounting for almost two third of leather and allied exports shipped during 2016. Ethiopia's growth in AGOA exports in this sector began in earnest in 2012, and has seen a steep trajectory since, as the third data table on the right will show.

South Africa is the second largest AGOA beneficiary within this sector, albeit whose exports were valued at less than a quarter of those from Ethiopia. Other beneficiaries, albeit on a much smaller scale, include Rwanda, Nigeria, Mauritius, Kenya, Ghana, Madagascar and Uganda, amongst others. 

AGOA exports within this sector include footwear, leather hides, handbags, luggage, personal leather goods and other categories, as shown in Table 2 alongside. By far the largest product category, by value, is women's footwear (except athletic). This category (NAIC 316214) accounted for the single largest share of sector exports, with over $22 million worth of exports to the US (out of $36 million) during 2016 alone. Exports of womens' footwear have increased more than 4-fold in the five year period 2012 - 2016. 


ENZI shoes (below) are manufactured by hand at a dedicated, purpose-built workshop in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, and exported globally. 

leather agoa ethiopia 930 

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