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US dependence on imported clothing likely to continue
Jul '12
Despite the fact that the issue of American Olympic team’s uniforms being produced in China has become the burning topic in recent days, the dependence of US on overseas clothing imports is likely to continue.
At present, only two percent of all clothing worn in the US is actually manufactured in America. This fact became clear during the course of debate on Ralph Lauren designed uniforms for American Olympic team.
A bill titled the "Team USA Made In America Act" was introduced in the US Congress following sharp criticism by several law makers that the Olympic team’s uniforms were made in China.
The bill was introduced in spite of Ralph Lauren committing to produce all future Olympic uniforms in America.
Actually, the fact that American Olympic team uniforms were manufactured in China highlights lack of domestic textile and apparel production in the US.
Most of the US textile and apparel manufacturing was outsourced when the country signed international agreements removing restrictions on imports of textiles and garments.
Being labour-intensive, textiles and apparel industries were the first to be set up in newly independent countries, where labour and raw materials were comparatively cheaper.
As these countries started establishing and even subsidizing their textile and apparel industries, they attained cost-advantage vis-à-vis US produced goods.
While the shift in textile and apparel manufacturing from the US to other countries led to loss of several American jobs, it certainly benefited US consumers who had to pay less for their textiles and clothing items.
According to industry analysts, while the US dependence on imported clothing does not seem to end, the recent debate should spur revival of apparel manufacturing, especially high-tech garments like windproof and waterproof jackets, in the US.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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