The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) sent a new jobs strategy for the apparel and footwear industry to President Barack Obama on the eve of his major speech on jobs and the economy.

The measures detailed in the strategy include reform of the government procurement process, opening markets to meet changing business challenges, reducing regulatory burdens that hinder innovation, and acting on other measures to drive US competitiveness.

“The US apparel and footwear industry is a driver of jobs,” said AAFA president and CEO Kevin Burke. “All around the country, our industry offers some of the world’s most diverse and well-paying employment opportunities.

“While we’re always looking to grow that employment base, sometimes we need Washington to develop timely new policies to keep us competitive worldwide.”

Burke said the four “simple” themes identified in the strategy would generate jobs in the industry within the US.

“By improving the way the Department of Defense procures military uniforms and footwear, opening global markets, eliminating burdensome regulations, and smartly reforming the tax code, the US apparel and footwear industry will be able to support our more than 1m current US jobs, as well as find opportunities to grow that number,” he argued.