The US has a unique tax system when it comes to women's underwear. Women's undergarments in the US have an average tariff rate of 15.5%, while men's tariffs are only 11.5%. That means women are paying a tax that's 35% higher than their male counterparts, according to Ed Gresser, a former US trade official and current director for Trade and Global Markets at the Progressive Policy Institute.
Most other countries have a flat rate for all underwear, regardless of gender. Australia, for example, taxes all underwear at a rate of 5%. In comparison, the US tariff rate for women's underwear is significantly higher.
Gresser estimates that the current US tariff system adds about $1.10 to each pair of women's underwear and about $0.75 to men's. He describes this surprise as the “worst Valentine's Day surprise ever.”
Furthermore, a study from the US International Trade Commission found that two-thirds of the total tariff burden comes from women's apparel products. This further highlights the unfairness of the US system, which charges women more than men on a product that is largely seen as gender-neutral.
0. “The US government says women's underwear should cost more than men's” KTEN, 13 Feb. 2023, https://www.kten.com/story/48374181/the-us-government-says-womens-underwear-should-cost-more-than-mens
1. “Women's underwear is taxed at higher rates than men's” Axios, 13 Feb. 2023, https://www.axios.com/2023/02/13/womens-underwear-tariffs-pink-tax