Blog: Trade agreements get a major shake-up in August
Leonie Barrie | 8 September 2015
A number of proposed trade agreements got a major shake-up in August. TPP negotiators failed to clinch a deal, the free trade pact between the EU and Vietnam still needs to be ratified, India pulled out of talks with the EU, and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) hailed “historic” progress.
But perhaps the biggest casualty will be India’s plans to increase textile and clothing exports by 20% a year and create an extra 35m jobs by 2024.
just-style’s latest management briefing also picks up on those trade agreements with the most significant implications for the clothing and textile industry – including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and the renewed African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). It also looks at the impact of deals already in place with the US and EU and their trading partners.
The latest data shows apparel imports into the US continued on their upward trajectory in July, with all but one of the top ten supplier countries booking year-on-year growth. While Vietnam led with pack, posting a solid double-digit rise for a fifth consecutive month, strong gains were also recorded by China, Bangladesh and Cambodia.
However, Vietnam's textile and apparel industry is calling for a lower minimum wage to be set after a consensus was reached for a 12.4% increase to take effect from January 2016.
And thousands of workers took part in demonstrations across Indonesia calling for higher wages and improved labour laws.
Meanwhile, Myanmar has approved the country's first minimum wage for garment workers of MMK3,600 (US$3.2) per day, setting it at the level first proposed two months ago.
And Hennes and Mauritz (H&M) is scaling up its fair living wage efforts with plans to add all of its strategic suppliers by 2018 – and is updating its purchasing practices to support them.
Australian surfwear company Billabong says it is “making good progress” in its turnaround efforts after posting its first full year profit since 2011 – and has now set its sights on yet more savings from supply chain improvements.
A new study suggests EU textile and clothing buyers should brace for higher prices, after the average price of imports jumped by 14.2% during the first four months of 2015 – and is set to continue to rise in 2015 and 2016.
But US consumer spending was hampered by international concerns and volatile equity markets in August, with the majority of clothing retailers reporting comparable store sales declines for the month.
And while it seems US consumers are more restrained when it comes to back-to-school shopping for the second year in a row, new fashions and a shift in spending away from electronics are prompting industry analysts to be cautiously optimistic for clothing retailers.
Confirmation that digital supply chains are top of mind for apparel industry executives came last week with the latest plans from global sourcing specialist Li & Fung....
As a barometer of the issues top of mind for apparel sourcing executives, it is hard to beat the annual Prime Source Forum in Hong Kong. ...
Over the past month, Donald Trump and his team failed to offer any clear plan to ensure Americans would "Buy American, Hire American" - while the British government's attempts to clarify the specifics...
The Bangladesh government was forced to respond late last week to pressure over its crackdown on labour activists after a number of global brands and retailers, including H&M and Inditex announced pla...
- Using worker surveys to drive supply chain change
- No US rush to Myanmar despite end to sanctions
- Trump and Brexit get a dose of pragmatism
- Rana Plaza four years on – Timeline of change
- Investment continues in Ethiopia clothing sector
- Driving ban intensifies Myanmar logistics hurdles
- Amazon wins on-demand apparel manufacturing patent
- Trump bolsters "buy American" with executive order
- Inditex, Adidas and Patagonia top ethical report
- Calls for supply chain transparency standard
- Global market review of denim and jeanswear – forecasts to 2022
- When Things Go Wrong - A Practical Guide to Managing Common Problems in Apparel Sourcing
- Myanmar - ISA Country Report
- Southeast Asia strategic sourcing review – a focus on Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar
- Clothing Market in the Top 5 American Countries to 2021 - Market Size, Development, and Forecasts