• EurActiv: TTIP: A call for decisive action

    By Christian Ewert and Julia K. Hughes

    We expect that EU and US negotiators will have a small ceremony when meeting this week for the 10th round of transatlantic trade talks – not to celebrate themselves, but to welcome the recent approval of the trade promotion authority (TPA) by the US Congress and the broadly supportive resolution by the European Parliament.

    The second anniversary of the start of the EU-US trade negotiations is also the right time to address three fundamental myths about TTIP that continue to capture public attention. Firstly, the public hype about this and the preceding rounds seems to indicate that completion of the talks is imminent and that time is nearly up for the involved parties to decisively influence the outcome. However, the reality is that negotiations are still at an early stage and little progress has been achieved in two years. A debate is being conducted about the impact of an agreement, of which the cornerstones are yet to be known.

    Click here to read the entire op-ed on the EurActiv website.

  • just-style: TTIP "significant potential" for European SMEs

    By Richard Woodard

    Meanwhile, the US Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) has welcomed bipartisan Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation -- the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities & Accountability Act of 2015 -- and called for its swift passage.

    USFIA president Julia Hughes said the legislation was "essential for the conclusion of high-standard, 21st century trade agreements," such as TTIP.

    Click here to read the entire article on the just-style website.

  • just-style: US and EU apparel groups set out stance on TTIP

    By Leonie Barrie

    The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) has joined with the European Branded Clothing Alliance (EBCA) and the US Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) to highlight the need for the textile and clothing industry to be able to access markets and suppliers worldwide, and the potential impact of tariffs and other trade barriers.

    Click here to read the entire article on the just-style website.

  • Sourcing Journal: Apparel Orgs Call for Inclusions in TTIP Agreement

    By Tara Donaldson

    Julia K. Hughes, USFIA president said, “The TTIP is an unprecedented opportunity to negotiate a Free Trade Agreement that works for apparel and footwear brands and retailers.” She added, “Every year there are millions of dollars of trade between the U.S. and the E.U. So duty-free on Day One would be a tremendous opportunity.”

    Click here to read the entire article on the Sourcing Journal website.

  • Sourcing Journal: EU Seeks to Align Textile Labeling, Chemical Classification Under TTIP

    By Tara Donaldson

    Julia K. Hughes, president of the United States Fashion Indsutry Association, said, “I think we all appreciate the EU releasing a paper that spells out exactly their position on some of the issues. The transparency is very helpful to make sure that companies are understanding the full breadth of these negotiations and what opportunities there are for the future.”

    This week’s TTIP talks were part of moving the negotiating process along, Hughes said, “But we are still at early days and I don’t think much progress has been made in any sector.”

    Click here to read the entire article on the Sourcing Journal website.

  • Sourcing Journal: Is the TTIP Trade Deal Dying a Slow Death?

    By Tara Donaldson

    "It is disappointing to read the comments from the French and German officials,” United States Fashion Industry Association president Julia K. Hughes said. “But we remain optimistic that the TTIP talks will continue. There are so many benefits for textile and apparel companies and we will continue to press for an agreement.”

    Click here to read the entire article on the Sourcing Journal website.

  • Sourcing Journal: TPP and TTIP Won’t Happen With a Trump Administration

    By Lyndsay McGregor

    Donald Trump’s unexpected success in the U.S. presidential election will cause chaos and uncertainty, but it may also present an opportunity for the American textiles and apparel industry.

    That was the message to attendees at the 28th Apparel Importers Trade and Transportation Conference in New York City Wednesday, hosted by the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) and the American Import Shippers Association (AISA), the morning after the shocking result that sent global markets into a tailspin.

    “I think there’s some opportunity in a Trump administration,” posited David Spooner, partner at Barnes & Thornburg LLP in Washington, D.C., and former chief textile and apparel negotiator at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). “Assuming chaos provides opportunities, and if Trump brings in new faces to USTR, it might give us an opportunity to do new things in trade. We’ve been screwed by the yarn-forward rule for decades. Maybe there’s an opportunity to do things, even if it’s around the margins.”

    Click here to read the entire article on the Sourcing Journal website.

  • TTIP Stakeholder Briefing in Washington, D.C.

    On December 18, 2013, United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) President Julia K. Hughes participated in the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) stakeholder briefing day during the third round of negotiations in Washington, D.C.

  • TTIP: Jobs & Growth in 50 States

    From USA-ITA OFF THE CUFF for September 27, 2013

    On September 24th, the Atlantic Council, in partnership with the Bertelsmann Foundation and the British Embassy in Washington, released a study showing that the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) would lead to jobs and economic growth in all 50 U.S. states. During the study’s launch event in Washington, D.C., UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, along with bipartisan U.S. Senators, called for the liberalization of trade between the United States and European Union—because as the study shows, it’s clear that everyone wins. 

    We’re only on round two of the TTIP negotiations (which begin October 7th in Brussels) but we already have evidence that an ambitious agreement would significantly benefit the citizens and economies of both the United States and European Union. According to the study authors, “The EU-US relationship already supports a combined 13 million jobs and nearly $3.9 trillion in investment, and represents 45 percent of the global GDP.” TTIP, however, presents an opportunity to increase jobs, investment, and GDP for both partners.

    Annette Heuser, Executive Director of the Bertelsmann Foundation, kicked off the event by reviewing the study’s methodology—and impressive findings. To conduct the study, the authors assumed an ambitious scenario, including the elimination of all tariffs, a 25 percent reduction in non-tariff barriers, and a 50 percent reduction in procurement costs. Under this scenario, Heuser explained, U.S. exports to the European Union would increase 33 percent per state and lead to net employment gain of over 740,000 jobs across all sectors. While all states would benefit, California, Texas, New York, Florida, and Pennsylvania would see the largest jobs gain, along with states with significant services, motor vehicles, and chemicals sectors. And, perhaps of most interest is that the study shows that TTIP will add about $865 in the pockets of each American family per year. The full study is available online at

    Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat introduced the honored guests and added that with subpar growth in the United States and almost no growth in Europe period, TTIP provides an opportunity for a “deficit-free stimulus.” In fact, if an ambitious TTIP goes into effect, we can expect to see GDP growth of nearly 1 percent in both the United States and Europe.

    UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, arriving a few minutes late from a meeting with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, praised the TTIP negotiations and said that we have an “economic necessity to capture the huge potential of trade liberalization” that we would see from such an agreement. The United States and European Union already cover about 1/3 of global trade, he said, but we need to go further. Noting that Biden reminded him that “all politics is local,” as is surely the case in the UK’s parliamentary system, Clegg said this study is so critical because it “enables us to make the case locally for TTIP,” as every state is able to clearly see the benefits.

    UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg

    UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg at the Atlantic Council (Credit: USA-ITA)

    TTIP has broad support across all parties in the UK, and also bipartisan support in the United States, explained U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) and U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), the leaders of the Senate Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on European Affairs. Murphy, the Committee Chair, called TTIP “transformational” for the economy given its economic and geopolitical benefits, and said that he and Senator Johnson are united in their support for it. Johnson, the Committee Ranking Member, added that the study is important because it shows that while there may be some winners and some losers in specific sectors, overall society wins.

    When asked about the prospects for TTIP in the U.S. Senate, Murphy said that he thinks there will be greater agreement on the Democratic side for TTIP than there has been for previous trade agreements, though he added that “there is a reason it has not been done yet.” Nonetheless, the divide on TTIP will be by region not party, which is again why this study is so important. Murphy also noted the importance of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) to concluding TTIP or any other trade deal.

    And, it’s not just the United States and European Union that will benefit from an ambitious TTIP, but the entire world. As Johnson said at the conclusion of the event, “Developed countries need to set the example and lift up all economies” by enacting ambitious free trade agreements. “It’s the moral thing to do.” 

  • 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.

  • 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 & FTA Say TTIP a Win-Win Deal

    This week, as the United States and European Union work on the 9th round of Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations, the Foreign Trade Association (FTA) and the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) reiterate the importance of concluding this landmark agreement. (Click here to read our op-ed in The Hill in Washington, D.C.)

    Representing brands, retailers, and importers based in the European Union and United States, respectively, FTA and USFIA agree that a milestone, 21st-century agreement between the European Union and United States could have many benefits for the fashion sector, and many other sectors, as well as our economies and people.

    As the negotiators take a fresh look at the proposals on the table and make a plan to conclude an agreement, we urge them to consider the following facts about the negotiations. Keep reading, or download our statement (attached) for the facts and figures.

    1. Already today, the EU-US trade relationship is a driving force for economic growth and a factor of success without that the full potential yet has been realized. Bilateral trade in goods climbed to more than $700 billion in 2014, double the level of 2000 [4] and already supports 13 million jobs in the European Union and United States [1]. This huge market accounts for more than 50 percent of the global GDP in terms of value and 40 percent in terms of purchasing power [4]. Regardless of the general favorable conditions, a variety of obstacles remain in place,which complicate trade and investment and hamper growth across the Atlantic. Against this background, the TTIP present a tremendous opportunity to achieve stronger market integration and to create even more jobs and growth. 

    2. TTIP will be highly beneficial to both the US and EU economies by boosting growth and creating jobs. [6An ambitious agreement could create as many as 750,000 new jobs in the United States [2], and wages for skilled and less skilled workers in the EU could grow by roughly 0.5% [3]. The expansion of transatlantic commerce would add €119 billion to Europe’s economy and €95 billion to the United States’ economy each year [3]. This boost would contribute to long-term growth for all sectors, as well as long-term economic gains for families. In fact, American households (defined as a family of four) stand to gain approximately $865 annually, while European households stand to gain approximately $720 [2] (or €545 [3]) annually. 

    3. The elimination of all tariffs and reduction of technical barriers would benefit all FTA and USFIA member companies based in the European Union and the United States. The European Union and United States both have more restrictive practices on textile, leather, and fashion products than most consumer goods. By eliminating tariffs and reducing technical barriers, our members would experience greater efficiencies and reduced costs of doing business, allowing them to sell more products globally, expand their operations, and create more jobs. [7

    4. Given the size and influence of trade across the Atlantic, an agreement would contribute to the progressive strengthening of global rules, and the World Trade Organization. By joining together to harmonize regulations and reduce trade barriers, the European Union and United States have an opportunity to create uniform, high-standard regulations for the entire world on everything from product labeling, to product testing, to sustainability and safety in the global value chain. This would benefit companies, which are increasingly global, by reducing costs and delays at borders—in fact the cost of dealing with unnecessary bureaucracy can represent 10-25% of total business costs [3]. We believe TTIP also will set the stage for the World Trade Organization to expand the commitment to multilateral agreements. 

    5. With strong clauses regarding regulatory cooperation, a centerpiece of a potential deal, the transatlantic pact could serve as a model for other agreements. When two of the largest economies and most important markets for exports come together to harmonize standards and regulations, other nations will get on board, too. And when they see the widespread benefits of an ambitious elimination of tariffs and reduction of barriers, other trading partners will likely follow suit, further eliminating trade barriers around the world. Moreover, harmonized industry standards across the Atlantic would enable third countries to switch to a single production line for manufactured goods exported to the US and EU.  

    6. Only an ambitious and comprehensive TTIP will serve the common objective of promoting economic growth and a stronger mutual market integration. The final outcome of the negotiation process should fulfill the high expectations and go beyond the removal of tariffs and the harvest of “low hanging fruits.” The current tendency to extend the list of non-negotiable issues–beyond what was agreed in the mandates–is putting at risk the initial aim of a far-reaching agreement generating significant added value for the business community.  A “TTIP Light” agreement is in the interest of neither party. 

    Along these lines, FTA and USFIA are highly supportive of the negotiations. In the light of the negative publicity surrounding the TTIP, especially in Europe, we have to encourage our governments to keep up their ambitions to negotiate a comprehensive agreement. The TTIP will result in an enormousbenefit for consumer and companies on both sides of the Atlantic. 

    * * *

    The Foreign Trade Association (FTA) is the leading business association of European and international commerce that promotes the value of free trade. We bring together over 1,500 retailers, importers, brand companies, and national associations, with a combined turnover of more than 700 billion Euros, to improve the political and legal framework for trade in a sustainable way.

    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. │ Tel: + 32 274 164 03 │

    The United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) represents the fashion industry: textile and apparel brands, retailers, importers, and wholesalers based in the United States and doing business globally. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., USFIA works to eliminate the tariff and non-tariff barriers that impede the industry’s ability to trade freely and create economic opportunities in the United States and abroad.

    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. │Tel: +12024190444 │ 

    [4] The Center for Transatlantic Relations' The Transatlantic Economy 2015

    [5] Moongate Associates' Analyzing the Value Chain for Apparel Designed in the United States & Manufactured Overseas


    [6] While there is public debate about the potential economic, social and environmental effects resulting from TTIP, the vast majority of scientific studies and assessments comes to the finding that the benefits will by far exceed the negative consequences. 

    [7] Today’s global value chains create quality jobs at home—and nearly 70 percent of the value added due to GVCs stays in the United States (Report by TTP Apparel Coalition 2013)  while 50-80 percent stays in Europe (Copenhagen Economics Study 2013)—so expanding trade will only create jobs.

  • USFIA Co-Authors Op-Ed In Support of TTIP

    On July 13, 2015, USFIA President Julie Hughes joined with Christian Ewert, Director General of the Foreign Trade Association (FTA) in Brussels, in support of the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP). This week marks the 10th round of transatlantic trade talks, but the first since Congress approved trade promotion authority (TPA). The op-ed seeks to clarify some of the myths surrounding the TTIP, including the "urgent" status of the negotiations, claims by the opposition that the TTIP will undermine democracy, and the opposition’s claim to speak for all citizens. We argue that "It is our belief that an objective analysis of TTIP will find that this agreement will generate enormous benefits for the EU and US as well as for citizens on both sides of the Atlantic." Read the full op-ed online here.   

  • USFIA Joins European Fashion Industry in TTIP Position Paper

    On October 19, 2015, the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) joined a position paper led by the European Branded Clothing Alliance (EBCA) on how to harmonize rules and regulations in the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement. The paper was sent to the negotiators for the 11th round of TTIP negotiations taking place in Miami, Florida. The paper is available here.

  • USFIA Joins with EBCA & AAFA on TTIP Position Paper

    On October 1, 2014, the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) joined with the European Branded Clothing Alliance  (EBCA) and the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) in releasing a joint statement spelling out our priorities for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations. USFIA and AAFA also appeared at the Stakeholder Event during the 7th round of TTIP negotiations in Washington, D.C., the same day.  

    We endorse six key priorities for TTIP.   They are: 

    • Mechanisms to facilitate regulatory convergence or mutual recognition of regulations and standards across the Atlantic
    • Full, immediate, and reciprocal elimination of tariffs
    • Flexible Rules of Origin
    • Harmonisation of regulations on labelling, requirements on product safety, and test methods
    • Facilitative Customs Provisions
    • Establishment of a harmonised list of prohibited substances

    The statement is available here