Interview with Mr Matthew Priest
Mr Matthew Priest
Mr Matthew Priest
Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Textile and Apparel (OTEXA)
US Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, US Govt.
US Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, US Govt.

Ranking as the third-largest country by size (after Russia and Canada) and by population (after China and India); United States of America also has the world's largest national economy that maintains a high level of output per person (GDP per capita, $46,000 in 2007, ranked within the top ten highest by most sources). The role of textile and clothing industry is vital in providing a major source of employment and economic activity in the country. Office of Textile and Apparel – OTEXA, US Department of Commerce appoints the Deputy Assistant Secretary(DAS) who oversees programs and strategies to improve the domestic and international competitiveness of the US fiber, textiles and apparel industries, and to assist importers and retailers in facilitating fair trade practices affecting textiles and apparel goods. The DAS serves as Chairman of the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA), which supervises the implementation of all textile trade agreements, and administers the implementation of textile trade agreement provisions, formulates trade policy, performs research and analysis, compiles industry data, as well as promotes US trade events for a whole spectrum of textile and apparel goods. Mr Matthew Priest is the present Deputy Assistant Secretary, OTEXA, US Department of Commerce. He is a Bachelor of Arts in political science from North Carolina State University in Raleigh. Previously, Mr Priest had been Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Import Administration at the Department of Commerce, where he was responsible for advising the assistant secretary on textile and trade issues. Prior to joining the Department of Commerce, Mr Priest also served as Legislative Director for Representative Sue Myrick of North Carolina in the US House of Representatives. Here too, he served as an advisor in the areas of textiles, trade and economic development. In a colloquy with Face2Face team, Mr Matthew Priest offers his outlook on US economy that is moving through rocky time these days as well as the envisaged trends in textile and clothing industry in such a milieu. He also shares about the policies mooted by his Ministry to combat the challenges and set the industry on the course of growth.

While welcoming you to this talk, may we request you to kindly share information about the role Textile and Clothing industry plays in US economy?

The textile and apparel industry provides the US economy with a major source of employment and economic activity. The industry is one of the largest employers in the manufacturing sector, employing 541,300 workers in 2007, or 4 percent of the US manufacturing workforce. Our industry also supports thousands of jobs in the design, sourcing, distribution and retailing of textiles and apparel worldwide.

Many other industries and workers are dependent on the textile and apparel industry for their livelihood. The industry is the principal customer for America's raw cotton and wool as well as for its manmade fibers and related products. The industry is also an important purchaser of chemicals, machinery, energy, transportation, and other services.

How would you like to word for present state of Global textile and clothing industry vis-a-vis globalization?

Worldwide, the textile and apparel industries are striving to stay globally competitive. In order to do this, it is paramount that the industries continue to retool and leverage their strengths. This requires integrated partnerships between producers of fiber, textiles and apparel, as well as retailers and distribution networks. Establishing global brand awareness is another important marketing tool.

It is also vitally important that the US continues its efforts to open up markets through a successful Doha Round and other bilateral and regional trade agreements.

Published on: 16/06/2008

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of