The outlook for China as a supplier of textiles and apparel (T&A) to the US market remains a topic of heated debate among industry professionals and academics. But an analysis of 2016 trade data by Dr Sheng Lu, assistant professor at the Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies at the University of Delaware, shows that while the country looks set to maintain its lead into the future, increasing competition is coming from suppliers in the Western Hemisphere who offer faster speed to market.