MEXICO: Rising contraband forces 200 apparel mills to close
Mexico's rising trade in contraband and fakes continues to rile the textiles and apparel industry, forcing 200 factories to close this year, according to leading apparel industry association Canaive.
An official confirmed 20 textile mills have closed in Puebla and another 200 throughout the country as a flood of "illegal" Chinese imports, rising contraband and used-clothing continue to dent local producers' profits.
Despite government promises to tackle the illegal trade last year, efforts so far appear to be unfruitful. According to the American Chamber, clothing remains the most copied product by volume and sales value, triggering losses of MXN938m ($100m) annually for the industry.
The Canaive official said the industry is working to pressure the government to "stop sitting on its hands" and step up efforts to combat the contraband trade, which accounts for 60% of textile and apparel sales in the country.
The official added the uncontrolled arrival of cheap products is also hurting the industry. He said four out of 10 garments come into Mexico priced below $1.
Providing a glimmer of hope, however, exports to the US, the country's biggest trading partner, have improved this year. In fact, from January to October, the textiles and apparel industry registered a textiles trading surplus of $522m, up 0.5% from the same year-ago period.
Claudia Ramos, Canaive's president, said the industry is working hard to produce more "value-added" garments to counter its problems and remain competitive against other international producers clamouring for access to the US market.
She said efforts are going well, with the industry recovering the fifth place as a global textiles and apparel supplier to the US, with China remaining number one.
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