Blog: Hannah AbdullaTrump drops Mexico tariffs amid deal on migration

Hannah Abdulla | 17 June 2019

US President Donald Trump has "indefinitely suspended" the recently proposed tariff hike on Mexican imports after the two parties reached a signed agreement. Meanwhile, clothing company G-III Apparel Group says it is taking a number of steps to offset the impact of the ongoing trade war between the US and China, including reducing its production in China and raising prices.

Chinese manufacturing giant Tian Yuan Garments – the largest producer of sportswear for Adidas worldwide – plans to invest another $10m to expand its new production plant in the United States. But US apparel imports regained their upward trajectory in April with retailers stocking up on their summer merchandise. Both Honduras and El Salvador recorded double-digit gains – yet China was not to be outdone, securing its first rise in clothing shipments to the US since January.

Guatemala's textiles and apparel industry expects to grow sales by 10% to $1.8bn this year as the US's escalating trade war with China turns eyes towards Central America. Simultaneously, neighbouring Honduras and Nicaragua are also boosting their fortunes by buying more Guatemalan fabric to make America-bound apparel.

On the acquisition front, Israel-based apparel major Delta Galil has acquired Hong Kong-based intimate apparel manufacturer The Bogart Group, a strategic supplier to brands including Victoria's Secret, PVH, Jockey, Adore Me, Vanity Fair and Hanes. And US fabric maker Polartec is to be acquired by textile maker Milliken & Company, in a move that bolsters its capabilities to include fleece and performance textiles for consumer, workwear and military outdoor apparel.

Canadian retailer Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) has inked a deal to sell its remaining European real estate and divest the related retail joint (JV) for CAD1.5bn (US$1.13bn) amid the news a group of its shareholders wants to take the company private while Arcadia Group, which owns the Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge, Burton and Dorothy Perkins chains, has avoided falling into administration after its creditors approved all seven of its Company Voluntary Arrangements (CVAs) – in a move that puts its 1,800 workers and extensive supplier base "on a much firmer footing."

Elsewhere, sustainability in the apparel and garment sector remains a front-of-mind issue for retailers and manufacturers. According to a new study,it is a core factor for European retailers when it comes to product sourcing.

Gap Inc is teaming up with India's Arvind Limited to open a new innovation centre highlighting solutions to reduce water use in the textile manufacturing industry and the UK government has unveiled a GBP4.7m (US$5.95m) fund to help boost the recycling of plastic packaging and textiles.

A damning report has called out 31 apparel brands and retailers for failing to ensure workers in their global supply chains are compensated fairly – the second of two on the topic in a matter of weeks.

Meanwhile, UK-based online fast-fashion retailer Boohoo has defended itself against claims it is hesitant to give its staff the opportunity to join an independent trade union.

US department store retailer Target Corp has revealed details of an open source blockchain project it has been working on since mid-2018 to help track its supply chain.

just-style reported from the Texprocess and Techtextil trade shows in Frankfurt last month. Industry 4.0 remained a buzz-word at the technology trade shows with new tools allowing data to flow seamlessly from digital design and development all the way through the supply chain to help garment manufacturers cut costs, improve quality, increase productivity, speed time-to-market, reduce waste and stay competitive. A number of new fibre and fabric concepts were on show alongside eco-innovations for clothing and footwear at the show.

In other news, Lululemon booked a double-digit first-quarter sales and profit hike and Ted Baker issued another profit warning on the back of anticipated difficult trading conditions.

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