From January 13-15, 2016, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) held three days of hearings on the “Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement: Likely Impact on the U.S. Economy and on Specific Industry Sectors.” On the last day of hearings, representatives from major U.S. fashion, footwear, retail, and cosmetics associations testified about the impact of the TPP on the industries. All of the organizations expressed support for TPP, but many also noted the missed opportunities, especially for textiles and apparel. In her testimony, USFIA President Julia K. Hughes expressed the association’s support for “better market access, not just to boost U.S. exports or U.S. imports, but to facilitate global trade.” However,

USFIA continues to believe that the United States should change its negotiating stance to recognize the global value chain and the jobs created by American brands, retailers, and importers. Unfortunately, the TPP falls short. There are certainly benefits in the agreement for USFIA member companies, but the agreement maintains the basic restrictive provisions that have existed since the negotiation of NAFTA in the early 1990s, and which ignore the international scope of the fashion industry… 

From this perspective, USFIA and our members applaud the conclusion of the TPP agreement. Nevertheless, we remain disappointed that the negotiators missed the opportunity to craft an agreement that recognizes the way that fashion brands and retailers do business. The lengthy duty phase-outs for many key products, and the reliance on a yarn-forward rule of origin, limit opportunities for our members to reach new consumers in the TPP countries and limit our opportunities to create jobs in the United States

Hughes expanded on the benefits and opportunities in the agreement in her testimony, which is available for download here.

For the latest on the status of the TPP, we encourage you to attend USFIA Fashion Forward: San Francisco on February 12th, where Joshua Teitelbaum, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Textiles, Consumer Goods, & Materials at the U.S. Department of Commerce, will provide an update