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US shoe interests lose import protection plea

The shoe industry and its union workers have lost a plea for protection from cheaper imports by a 5-to-0 decision which the United States International Trade Commission said was one of the hardest it has had to make; it was announced Wednesday.

Organized labor asked for help because, it said, 70,000 workers have lost jobs as imports have ''killed off'' the industry. Domestic shoe manufacturers joined in the appeal. But retailers said the protection sought - limiting imports to no more than 50 percent of the US market - would cost consumers $10 billion over five years, as much as $200 for the average family.

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In the end, rejection of the appeal for import curbs was strongly influenced by international politics. A limit on shoe imports would have embarrassed President Reagan at the start of the economic summit ence that opened in London Thursday.

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