Interview with Julia Hughes

Julia Hughes
Julia Hughes

How can the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) enhance the global value chain for yarns, textiles, and apparel? How is the agreement beneficial to TPP countries, as well?

In order for the TPP agreement to be beneficial for our industry, it must recognize the importance of the entire supply chain in sourcing decisions. When choosing sourcing partners, U.S. brands look at a variety of components, including design availability, fabric and trim availability, vendor compliance, and speed-to-market, not to mention overall value for price paid. As such, TPP should include, first and foremost, a liberal, simple, streamlined rule of origin for textiles and apparel, based on change in tariff heading (CTH) and/or the regional value content (RVC) requirement. In addition, TPP should be a 21st-century agreement, harmonized with existing Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and other preference programs and recognize the global regulations with which companies must comply, in order to truly work with the global value chain.

What kind of education does USA-ITA provide to executives involved with textile and apparel sourcing, importing, and logistics etc.?

USA-ITA membership is accessible to education and information. Our signature event is the Textile & Apparel Importer Trade & Transportation Conference, which we host every November in New York City with the American Import Shippers Association (AISA). (This year, the 24th annual conference will take place on November 14 at Bridgewaters South Street Seaport, and will feature speakers from U.S. Customs & Border Protection and the Consumer Product Safety Commission, among others to be confirmed.) Participating in our events is not only to learn critical information, but also have the opportunity to engage in candid discussion with policymakers and other experts, and we have seen positive changes for our industry result from these discussions. This year, we have ramped up our webinars and invited members and other experts to present on specialized topics, such as sourcing and compliance in Bangladesh. In addition to our live events, we send frequent communications to our members with news alerts and expert analysis.

How is USA-ITA resourceful to its members?

USA-ITA helps our members to stay ahead of the issues, connect with the industry, and compete in the global market. As noted, we offer exclusive publications for our brand, retailer, importer, and service provider members, including regular textile development memos featuring news and analysis, and monthly customs overviews. Our international affiliate subscription program allows international manufacturers, suppliers, service providers, and other organizations to understand how U.S. government policies and private sector actions affect their businesses and customers. Besides, we offer possibility for our members to network with industry leaders and promote their own businesses. Our members can host webinars or write articles for our publications, sponsor our annual conference, and participate in trade shows and other events around the world through our extensive network. As well as our members actively take advantage of opportunities to meet with U.S. government officials, join coalitions, and participate in the policy making process.
Published on: 08/08/2012

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

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