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Textile and Apparel Companies Turn to Old Tools for New Challenges

Friday, November 08, 2019
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Textile and apparel companies are dusting off old tools to deal with new challenges in the global marketplace. The Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Analysis Program (ST&R-TAP™) offers an affordable suite of such tools, combining the firm’s decades of experience in this sector with in-depth analysis of the latest trade data.

For decades the U.S. imposed a quota system on imports of textile and apparel goods, limiting the amount of specific categories of products that could be shipped from individual countries. That required importers and brokers to keep a close eye on everything from country-specific quota fill rates to political, economic, and labor conditions in potential source countries. When the quota system ended in 2005, the need for such monitoring declined as well.

Over the past 18 months, however, tariff increases, rapidly changing trade policies, and other factors have upended the industry. Many textile and apparel goods from China are already subject to higher Section 301 import tariffs in the U.S. and others remain under threat. Obtaining exclusions from these tariffs is possible but can require detailed requests and no small amount of patience. Orders have been issued to detain imports of some apparel made in China due to evidence it was made with forced labor.

As a result, textile and apparel companies are looking at diversifying their sourcing to limit their exposure to higher tariffs and general business uncertainty. The ST&R-TAP™ service offers two tools to assist in making these decisions. The first is a weekly newsletter with news, analysis, and insight on the latest regulatory, trade policy, and legislative developments in the U.S. and other key markets that affect textile and apparel issues. The second is a monthly publication that analyzes current trends in consumer demand, wholesale and retail sales, prices, imports, and the financial performance of U.S. apparel retailers and producers, giving executives and other professionals more detailed information that aids in the formulation and execution of strategic decisions.

For more information on STR-TAP, or to subscribe, please contact ST&R.

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