Blog: Leonie BarrieTrump spares textile machinery in tariff spat

Leonie Barrie | 19 June 2018

Hundreds of US imports from China will be hit with an additional 25% tariff from next month – but to the relief of the US textile, apparel and footwear industry, most of the equipment used in the domestic manufacturing of these products has been removed from the list of products.

But calls continue for the Trump administration to include finished textile and apparel products on any future lists of imports from China to be made subject to Section 301 tariffs.

A new metric has been developed to help textile and apparel supply chains evaluate the value of time in product development, merchandising and sourcing decisions. The model is aimed at brands and retailers searching for ways to increase full-price sell-through or grow profit.

And the impact of e-commerce means global supply chains will be transformed within a decade – with giants like Amazon completely redefining global shipping and logistics, according to one research analyst.

The level of supply chain risk faced by European retail companies with international suppliers increased in the first quarter, a new report shows.

While David Nieper, one of the UK's last remaining vertical fashion manufacturers, is taking control of its own destiny by investing in the country's first digital printing plant for jersey fabric, addressing the skills deficit through an in-house sewing school, and helping to develop the industry's first apprentice standard. Managing director Christopher Nieper explains why the business continues to punch above its weight.

Sri Lankan apparel and fabric manufacturing conglomerate MAS Holdings is ramping up its efforts to eliminate hazardous chemicals throughout its global operations with the roll-out of an online chemical information management system to more countries.

And UK fashion, homeware and food retailer Marks & Spencer says over three-quarters of its cotton is now procured from sustainable sources, putting it on track to meet its commitment to hit 100% next year.

But a new investigation by environmental activist group Greenpeace has found microplastic fibres and chemicals present in water and snow samples from a recent expedition to the Antarctic.

The FIFA World Cup football tournament has not got off to a good start for key sponsors Adidas and Nike, who are accused of paying poverty wages to supply chain workers who make the kit worn by players and supporters.

While the UK Government is to dispute a multi-billion euro charge handed to it by the European Commission in relation to alleged unpaid duties on Chinese imports of clothing and footwear over several years.

The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh has been given an extension to its mandate by the Bangladesh government after a court order preventing this was lifted.

But despite years of efforts to strengthen the voices of workers in the Bangladeshi garment sector through social dialogue, real improvements remain to be seen, according to a new investigation.

Meanwhile, in other news, Gap Inc has named former Billabong boss Neil Fiske as president and CEO of its Gap brand; Inditex booked a strong first-quarter performance; and adopting automation is key for Vietnam manufacturers to make the most of upcoming trade deals.

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