Global Trade

  • U.S. Business Coalition for TPP Sends Letter to USTR Kirk on Services

    On June 29, 2012, the U.S. Business Coalition for the TPP, including USA-ITA, sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk calling for liberalization of cross-border trade and investment in services in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.

  • U.S. Business Coalition for TPP Sends Letter to USTR Kirk on Supply Chain Connectivity

    The U.S. Business Coalition for the TPP, including USA-ITA, sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Ron Kirk on the need to address supply-chain connectivity in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. 

    The letter states:

    As the U.S. negotiating team prepares for the next round of TPP negotiations, scheduled to be held in Chicago beginning the week of September 5, we hope the United States will present and support key principles and commitments to TPP parties for their consideration, including tools that adequately recognize the full scope of issues that are critical to integrating modern supply chains; mechanisms to effectively and expeditiously address supply chain problems as they arise; and an ambitious work program to achieve targets. We recognize the important contributions of specific chapters throughout the FTA to supporting supply chains, but cannot stress enough the value of a separate and comprehensive acknowledgment to ensure whole-of-government commitment to strengthening TPP supply chains.

  • U.S. Fashion Industry Joins National Campaign to Fight Taxes on Consumers

    On September 12, 2018, the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) joined Americans for Free Trade, a multi-industry coalition aimed at opposing tariffs and highlighting the benefits of international trade to the U.S. economy. More than 80 organizations have already joined the new national coalition. More information is available at

    “The fashion industry is pleased to join with a wide range of industries and organizations across the country to fight the proposed tariffs, which will amount to an additional tax on consumers and limit consumer choices,” says USFIA President Julia K. Hughes. “As we said explained to the Trump Administration last week, the proposed additional 25% duties on consumer products will not achieve the stated goal of eliminating China’s troublesome intellectual property and technology transfer practices. Furthermore, the tariffs will harm American consumers at all income levels—from the single parent struggling to make ends meet as they purchase back-to-school necessities for their kids, to the consumer of high-end fashion manufactured in the United States, and every American family in between—by imposing a substantial regressive tax on basic household purchases of clothing, footwear, back-to-school items, and home goods.”

    This new coalition will immediately join Farmers for Free Trade, the coalition backed by the nation’s largest ag commodity groups, in a multi-million-dollar national campaign called Tariffs Hurt the Heartland. The campaign will focus on telling the stories of the American businesses, farmers, workers, families, and consumers harmed by tariffs.

    The campaign includes a geographically searchable map ( that allows users to find stories of job losses, deferred investments, higher prices and other negative consequences for farmers and businesses in communities across the country impacted by tariffs.

    Americans for Free Trade sent a letter to congressional leadership, as well.

  • USA-ITA & FTA Welcome EU Mandate to Begin U.S.-EU Trade Negotiations

    On June 19, 2013, USA-ITA, now the United States Fashion Industry Association, joined the Foreign Trade Association (FTA), based in Brussels, in sending out a joint press release welcoming the mandate to begin the negotiations of the U.S.-EU Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP). USA-ITA President Julia K. Hughes said that “members of FTA and USA-ITA are active globally with significant business interests in both the U.S. and EU. It’s important to note that USA-ITA members don’t simply import products from Europe; they increasingly sell their products in Europe, too, making the TTIP critical to U.S. imports, exports, and job creation.” 

  • USA-ITA Files Comments in Support of TTIP Negotiations

    On May 10, 2013, USA-ITA, with the assistance of our Washington Counsel David Spooner, filed comments to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative on the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the United States and European Union. In the comments, we note that we strongly support the launch of the negotiations and states that “a primary goal of the United States in the TTIP negotiations must be to obtain immediate elimination of these tariff peaks in the EU (as well as in the United States’ apparel tariffs), so that American brands can better serve consumers in both the EU and the U.S. markets.” The comments are available here.

  • USA-ITA Files Comments on Japan’s Entry in TPP

    On June 9, 2013, USA-ITA filed comments on Japan’s entry into the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. As you know, the U.S. formally invited Japan to participate and the 90-day review period is currently underway. With the assistance of Washington Counsel David Spooner, we updated the comments previously filed in 2012, noting that we support Japan’s participation as it will provide our members with “duty-free entry into Japan’s lucrative and influential retail market.” The comments also call for a “workable rule of origin” and notes, “A reduction of Japan’s high apparel tariffs would be meaningless, of course, if the final TPP Agreement includes a rule of origin that is so protectionist that it is unusable for apparel producers. U.S. brands and retailers have long conveyed to USTR that a yarn-forward rule of origin in the TPP would eviscerate the benefits for apparel producers in the Agreement, harming many of America’s more innovative and well-known companies, as well as the thousands of jobs they support.” 

  • USA-ITA Joins Association Letter to USTR Froman on TPP

    On August 1, 2013, USA-ITA joined four other trade associations in sending a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP), urging his team to “construct a balanced approach for apparel–one that recognizes all viewpoints and also ensures that meaningful trade and investment opportunities can be created for apparel under this agreement.” The letter discusses the problems with a yarn-forward Rule of Origin and urges USTR to opt for a more flexible rule for textiles and apparel in the final agreement. 

  • USA-ITA Joins Letter to Congressional Leadership on Nicaragua TPL

    On June 18, 2013, USA-ITA, now the United States Fashion Industry Association, joined an industry letter to the Congressional trade leadership, urging them to take action to extend the CAFTA duty-free benefits available through the Nicaragua TPL, which expires at the end of 2014. We sent the letters to: Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT), Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT), House Ways & Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI), and House Ways & Means Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI). We will continue to be active on this issue to ensure that the Nicaragua TPL is extended.

  • USA-ITA Joins Letter Urging Renewal of GSP

    On June 17, 2013, 234 American companies and associations, including USA-ITA, sent a letter to U.S. Senate Finance Committee and U.S. House Ways & Means Committee leadership urging Congress to renew the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) before it expires on July 31st. The letter was organized by the Coalition for the GSP. According to the letter, the GSP program fuels “development in poorer countries” and also “supports American manufacturing by reducing costs of imported inputs, machinery, and equipment, and helps American families make ends meet by lowering the costs of consumer goods imported duty free under GSP.” 

  • USA-ITA Joins Renew GSP Today

    On February 7, 2013, the United States Association of Importers of Textiles & Apparel (USA-ITA), now United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA), joined Renew GSP Today, a coalition of American companies and associations that urge Congress to renew the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program immediately. If your company utilizes GSP and would also like to join, we encourage you to join, as well.

  • USA-ITA Participates in Imports Work for America Week

    Imports Work for America Week is taking place this week, May 6th through May 10th. USA-ITA is once again participating in this event with other industry associations, and activities include media outreach, blog posts and social media, and a briefing on Capitol Hill on Friday sponsored by the Heritage Foundation. 

    As part of the week, the Trade Partnership has produced a study on the benefits of imports for the U.S. economy, particularly U.S. jobs and manufacturing competitiveness. Reuters’ Doug Palmer has written more about it

    For more information on Imports Work for America Week, visit stay tuned to Facebook and Twitter all week for updates. 

  • USA-ITA Submits Comments on GSP Eligibility for Burma & Laos

    On June 25, 2013, USA-ITA submitted comments to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) on Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) eligibility for Burma/Myanmar and Laos. In the comments, drafted by USA-ITA Washington Counsel David Spooner of Squire Sanders, we note that we “strongly support” the designation of Burma/Myanmar and Laos as GSP beneficiaries as well as least-developed beneficiaries. We also call for GSP benefits to be extended to include apparel, as doing so would “foster broad-based economic development” in the beneficiary countries and indirectly benefit both member companies as they consider sourcing from Burma/Myanmar and Laos as well as apparel workers in those countries. 

  • USA-ITA Submits Comments on Japan, Mexico, & Canada Joining TPP

    On January 13, 2012, USA-ITA (now USFIA) filed comments with USTR to support the expansion of the TPP talks to include Japan, Mexico, and Canada. Similar to the comments filed with the House Ways and Means Committee, the comments emphasized the potential benefits of expanding TPP and also mentioned some of the special concerns for members doing business in Japan, Mexico, and Canada. 

  • USA-ITA Submits Statement to House Ways & Means Subcommittee on Trade on TPP

    On December 14, 2011, USA-ITA (now the United States Fashion Industry Association) filed a statement with the U.S. House Ways & Means Subcommittee on Trade for the December 14th hearing on the Trans-Pacific Partnership. In the statement, USA-ITA said it is time for the U.S. to recognize that the textile and apparel sector does not need special Rules of Origin or special protection in the TPP negotiations. In order for the TPP agreement to be a true 21st-century agreement, it must recognize that U.S. companies manufacture for a global consumer. To achieve this end, the TPP agreement must contain a flexible Rule of Origin for the majority of products and impost a restrictive yarn-forward Rule of Origin only on those U.S.-manufactured products that need special protection. The yarn-forward Rule of Origin would hinder trade opportunities within the TPP, and consequently hinder job growth in the United States. The full USA-ITA statement is available here and the press release is available here.

  • USFIA & FDRA Publish Op-Ed on TPP

    On August 30, 2016, the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) and the Footwear Distributors & Retailers of America (FDRA) published an op-ed in the Washington Examiner about the Olympics, and how Team USA’s big wins emphasize how the United States is a winner in the pool, on the mats, on the courts, and around the track—but not on trade: 

    During the Olympics, we are often reminded of the innovation that drives our industries — for example, the Nike Flyknit debut during the 2012 London games, the use of 3D printing to engineer better running shoes for Rio, lighter cleats, more breathable fabrics for soccer and basketball uniforms and sunglasses designed to reduce the effects of wind. 

    Yet this clothing and footwear comes at a high price. While the U.S. government taxes all products that cross the U.S. border at just 1.4 percent on average, it places import taxes averaging 11 percent on footwear and 13 percent on apparel. 

    This limits the ability of American companies to innovate and drives up the cost of shoes and clothes for hardworking individuals and families. 

    Read the op-ed at the Washington Examiner.


  • USFIA & FTA in Brussels Call for High-Standard TTIP

    On April 20, 2015, the ninth round of Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations began in New York City. USFIA President Julia K. Hughes joined with Christian Ewert, Director General of the Foreign Trade Association (FTA) in Brussels, in calling for a high-standard, 21st-century agreement to benefit the economy and jobs in both the United States and European Union. USFIA and FTA signed an op-ed in The Hill, one of the widely read publications on Capitol Hill, and also released a joint statement with facts and figures to explain the benefits of TTIP for the economy and jobs. 

  • USFIA and Companies Discuss Impact of Tariffs on Industry and Consumers in Advance of USTR Hearing

    Today, USFIA President Julia Hughes is scheduled to testify during the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative’s hearing on the proposed tariffs on approximately $200 billion worth of Chinese products under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. She will testify on a panel with the National Retail Federation (NRF), China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Textiles, and Jo-Ann Stores, LLC, among others. Her testimony as prepared for delivery is available here.

    Joann Stores has launched a campaign to stop the “Made in America Tax” (@made_tax), the proposed tariffs on fabrics and craft supplies. In addition, the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association has started a #nobabytariffs campaign on social media and are using the following graphic. We encourage companies to engage on social media if possible.

    Meanwhile, yesterday, Hughes spoke to National Public Radio’s Marketplace about the impact of tariffs on fashion products, particularly the impact on consumers. You can hear the entire interview at

  • USFIA Applauds Bipartisan Support for TPA, Urges Lawmakers to Find Agreement on TAA

    The United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) applauded the bipartisan support in the House for Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), but urged lawmakers to find agreement on Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA). The statement is available on our website.

  • USFIA Applauds Introduction of TPA

    On April 16, 2015, the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) applauded the introduction of bipartisan Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation, Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015. 

    “Trade Promotion Authority is essential for the conclusion of high-standard, 21st-century trade agreements,” says Julia K. Hughes, President of USFIA. “The fashion industry applauds the introduction of TPA and urges Congress to pass the legislation as soon as possible so we can see the swift conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other key trade negotiations.” 

    The full statement is available here.

  • USFIA Asks Congress to Intervene on Tariffs

    The United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) joined a multi-industry association letter to Senate Finance Committee and House Ways & Means Committee leadership to express concern about U.S. trade policy, specifically “the growing willingness of the current Administration to use tariffs (and the related use of absolute import quotas) as a major policy tool in an increasing number of trade disputes with our allies.” The letter asks Congress to “to consider a robust congressional response to the Administration’s actions. We strongly support increased congressional oversight by your Committees, the holding of expeditious hearings on the President’s use of delegated trade authority, and consideration of whether amendments to existing delegations of authority are necessary to clarify Congress’ important role in the execution of the nation’s trade policy.” The letter is available here.