China now controls half of US apparel market, says AMTAC

27 Jun '06
3 min read

According to the most recent U.S. Commerce Department statistics (April 2006), China has now taken control of half of the U.S. apparel market in those product areas where quotas have been removed, with China's share continuing to grow with each passing month.

As a result, the developing world has lost $3 billion in exports while China has gained almost $8 billion during the past four years.

The enormous losses by developing countries highlight the need for a textile sectoral solution to emerge out of the WTO talks next week. Absent a sectoral solution, sharp reductions in tariff preferences and the disappearance of the China textile safeguard in 2009 will lead to millions of job losses around the globe.

Particularly hard hit will be African, Central American, Mexican and Andean workers as well as big Asian producers such as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, the Philippines and Thailand. One and half million jobs would be lost in Mexico, Central America and the Andean region alone with hundreds of thousands of additional textile job losses in the United States.

In a review of apparel categories that have been quota free the longest – since 2002 - the results are even grimmer. Every major supplier except India and Vietnam has lost large amounts of market share in the Untied States to China. Other developed countries figures are similar.

China's share of the Japanese and Australian apparel markets is now over 75 percent. In the EU, in apparel categories where quotas have been removed since 2002, China's share is now 74 percent.

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