Blog: Under the wire?
Leonie Barrie | 15 August 2005
Are European retailers and importers really to blame for the fiasco – for that’s what it’s turning into – over the new Chinese clothing quotas? The new import restrictions were negotiated in June on ten categories of Chinese textile and clothing products. Less than two months later, and pullovers and trousers have already reached their quantitative limits for the whole of 2005.
Shipments up to July 11, when the EU-China agreement came into force, have been allowed into Europe – but EU trade chief Peter Mandelson has accused Chinese and EU traders of trying to get their pullovers and trousers into Europe “under the wire.” “The sheer scale of their attempt to beat the restrictions has presented [the Commission] with immense difficulties,” he said.
But EU officials knew Chinese imports were soaring; after all it was this that prompted them to reimpose quotas in the first place. So did they really expect the flood to slow to a trickle in a matter of weeks? And it’s not about last-minute orders either, as Mandelson has implied. Despite industry talk about shorter lead times and fast fashion, importers will have placed their bulk orders many months before the deal. And it is these garments – in most cases making up the new autumn/winter ranges – that are now sitting in containers, stranded in transit.
With no clear provisions about how to deal with orders that were already en route to Europe, the EC says that final decisions, including some flexibility on the future management of the quotas will not be taken until early September and “will be resolved in agreement with the Chinese authorities.” In the meantime, it hopes to be able to offer some flexibility for pullovers. Retailers, too, are pinning their fortunes on a solution – and one that doesn’t mean additional exports will be stopped from entering the market. At such short notice it will prove nearly impossible to source autumn collections elsewhere, and shoppers may be charged higher prices for those clothes that make it into the stores.
Fresh from their disappointment at seeing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade deal abandoned last month with an executive order by President Donald Trump, the US apparel and footwear sector...
With the ultimate aim of ensuring all the cotton in its products is sourced sustainably, value clothing retailer Primark is adamant that having a business model focused on offering the lowest prices o...
Last week we marked the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States by taking a closer look at what's at stake for the textile and apparel trade – especially his promises t...
Continuing our look at what lies ahead for the apparel industry and its supply chain in 2017, the panel of industry experts consulted by just-style last week tackled likely shifts in the sourcing land...
- Hard hit Turkish industry is not knocked out
- "Power of the many" drives change at Otto Group
- China leads US apparel sources with falling prices
- Vietnam grows share of US apparel imports in 2016
- US apparel sector braces for potential cost hikes
- US Q4 in brief – Foot Locker, Nordstrom, Carter's
- Bangladesh crackdown has cost garment sector $100m
- Inditex and H&M boycott Dhaka Apparel Summit
- Macy's will "do the right thing", says Lundgren
- JC Penney to close 140 stores amid lower sales
- When Things Go Wrong - A Practical Guide to Managing Common Problems in Apparel Sourcing
- Outdoor performance apparel 2016: A broader perspective
- Technical textile markets: product developments and innovations, December 2016
- Southeast Asia strategic sourcing review – a focus on Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar
- Global market review of lingerie – forecasts to 2022