Remove Duties on Apparel

Remove Duties on Apparel

Issue Summary

It’s clear that imports work for America! A recent study by Moongate Associates, supported by the TPP Apparel Coalition, showed exactly how well these apparel imports work for America. Moongate surveyed seven American apparel brands and retailers that design their apparel products in the United States and manufacture them overseas. The study found that, on average, the U.S. value-added as a percentage of the final retail price for 20 products sold by these companies was 70.3 percent. What does that mean? It means that, despite the fact that these products were physically manufactured overseas, American workers at all stages of the global value chain as mentioned above contributed to 70.3 percent of the garment’s total value.

And it’s worth noting that the seven companies participating in the study alone employ more than 350,000 people in the United States! That’s a lot of American jobs.

Imports Work for America Week is an initiative led by a coalition of organizations, including the United States Fashion Industry Association (formerly the United States Association of Importers of Textiles & Apparel) representing tens of thousands of businesses employing millions of American workers across the United States who depend on access to imports to compete globally. Throughout the week, the coalition highlights the benefits of imports on the U.S. economy and jobs through media, fact sheets, and events. For more information, visit www.importswork.org

USFIA Position

It is simply shameful that struggling American families have to pay high taxes for babies’ and children's clothing, while the wealthy can import silk scarves with a 1.2 percent duty rate. Let's eliminate regressive taxes on middle class Americans and start lowering prices on basic apparel. The United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) is proud to support our members who import textile and apparel products to the United States and international markets, and we’re also proud to support the Imports Work for America Week initiative again this year.

USFIA Sends Letter to New USTR Lighthizer on NAFTA

On May 16, 2017, USFIA joined other apparel and retail organizations in sending a letter to Ambassador Lighthizer to express strong support for the continuation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The letter agrees that it may be time to update the agreement “to reflect today’s business reality and better prepare for future trade patterns,” but urges him to ensure that any changes or improvements “provide for seamless integration with the existing NAFTA agreement.” The letter is available here.

USFIA Testifies at USTR Hearing on NAFTA

On June 27, 2017, USFIA Washington Counsel David Spooner, former Chief Textile and Apparel Negotiator at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), testified during the USTR hearing on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) at the U.S. International Trade Commission.

“A well-functioning Western Hemisphere supply chain is vital to maintain American jobs at home, as well as employment in the region,” he said. “Any efforts to make it more difficult to source apparel from both Mexico and Canada will encourage sourcing from other parts of the world, and will reduce employment in the North American apparel supply chain.”

Spooner, who negotiated the textile and apparel provisions of 10 U.S. Free Trade Agreements while at USTR, emphasized the need to maintain the current global value chains in the Western Hemisphere. In the testimony, he provided eight recommendations for how NAFTA could be improved.

The full testimony is available here.

The press release on the testimony is available here.

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