Blog: Leonie BarriePresident Obama's textile stance?

Leonie Barrie | 22 January 2009

Since his inauguration on Tuesday, President Obama has shown that he’s keen to get stuck in to the hundreds of urgent items on his agenda. But textiles certainly isn’t one of them.

As Mike Flanagan pointed out in his analysis of the new Administration’s priorities, trade doesn’t seem to be getting a look in right now – let alone the likelihood of a protectionist stance against foreign clothing suppliers like China. Which of course is good news for US importers and retailers placing orders in China who need as much predictability as possible when it comes to their sourcing decisions.

Of course there’s no certainty that imposing restrictions on imports won’t happen eventually, but in the short term at least there seems to be a consensus of opinion that the economy will be the centre of attention.

Speaking to a number of apparel industry executives in the course of putting together a management briefing on industry issues to watch in 2009, the view seems to be that the new government is going to work on the broader economic issues affecting the US first.

Julie Hughes, senior vice president of USA-ITA (the US Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel) says: “The conventional wisdom in the US right now is that the Obama Administration will not take any action for special textile protection for at least their first six months in office.”

Kevin Burke, president of The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) believes that when the Obama Administration begins to focus on trade, “it will likely focus first on enforcement of current trade agreements before looking at creating new trade agreements.”   

Hughes also notes that “while there is certainly the potential for the textile industry – or for specific companies – to file trade cases to begin anti-dumping or countervailing duty or China product-specific investigations, those close to the textile industry suggest that the high legal fees remain a deterrent to the filing of cases.” 

And Mike Flanagan adds that the threat of protectionism “is nothing like the big deal many people make it out to be.”

Relations with China matter more to the US trade policymakers than their domestic textile lobbies, he believes, noting: “There are just about as many votes wanting more sales of Boeings or Airbuses to China as there are wanting textile jobs to be protected in the Carolinas.”

 

COMMENT: Textile trade bans unlikely under President Obama


BLOG

Busana Apparel on an expansion drive

Busana Apparel Group, Indonesia's largest woven apparel exporter, is on a drive to expand its domestic capacity, has set up its first factory in Ethiopia, is exploring opportunities in Vietnam, and ey...

BLOG

Act now to keep receiving just-style newsletters

You may have noticed a red alert bar at the top of just-style’s weekly and daily newsletters asking you to “Act now to keep receiving the just-style newsletter.” ...

BLOG

Apparel imports into the US rose in June

Apparel imports into the US rose in June as merchants stocked up for summer and prepared for the back-to-school season, with imports from Vietnam continuing to surge....

BLOG

US retailers under pressure to grow sales as mall traffic slows

Under Armour is to close stores and cut jobs – around 2% of the company's global workforce – as part of new plans to build a stronger and smarter company with faster go-to-market speed and greater dig...

just-style homepage



Forgot your password?