Blog: Leonie BarrieUS trade updates out of date

Leonie Barrie | 15 January 2019

Apparel and textile industry executives are among those being deprived of key trade and economic data amid the ongoing US government shutdown – at a time when trade tensions between the US and China mean that having access to the most up-to-date statistics is more important than ever.

And amid fears an accelerating Trump trade war risks exports to the US through standard channels, Chinese clothing companies wanting to access the American market are targeting a free trade zone system in Egypt that links businesses with Israeli suppliers.

Bangladesh's newly sworn in commerce minister has promised that garment worker wages will be reviewed, as violent clashes with police continued last week.

While two more industrial parks have been inaugurated in Ethiopia as the government continues its vision to transform the country into a world-leading apparel and textile hub.

And as brand and own-label customers continuously try to lower their costs – often pushing them back up the supply chain to the supplier – we offer advice on how manufacturers can fight back by adding value, and how to quantify the cost and benefits of each additional service.

US apparel giant PVH Corp is shaking up its Calvin Klein business, including consolidation of the men's Calvin Klein Sportswear and Calvin Klein Jeans business in North America. A new name, design approach and creative direction is also planned for the Calvin Klein 205W39NYC line.

While Edward Lampert, chairman of Sears Holdings, has thrown yet another lifeline to the troubled department store retailer, having made a new takeover bid of more than US$5bn.

US children's apparel retailer Gymboree Group has also warned more store closures for its Gymboree and Crazy 8 chains can be expected over the course of the year, as reports continue to circulate it is gearing up for a second bankruptcy filing in under two years.

While in other news, there has been a mixed bag of holiday sales filings from US apparel and footwear brands and retailers; Gap is to shutter its Fifth Avenue flagship store later this month; and New Balance Athletics is preparing to open an advanced manufacturing facility in Massachusetts to expand its domestic manufacturing footprint.

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