FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, D.C. – The United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) released the second U.S. Fashion Industry Benchmarking Study, a survey of executives from 30 leading fashion and apparel brands, retailers, importers, and wholesalers.
The majority of respondents (89 percent) are optimistic about the five-year outlook for the U.S. fashion industry. Like last year, they are most concerned about increasing production or sourcing costs, but they expect increases to be more modest this year.
The survey was conducted in conjunction with Dr. Sheng Lu, Assistant Professor at the University of Rhode Island’s Department of Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design. The survey asked respondents about the business outlook, sourcing practices, utilization of Free Trade Agreements and preference programs, and views on trade policy.
“As we were preparing this timely study for publication, we were closely watching the activity on trade in the U.S. Congress,” said Julia K. Hughes, President of USFIA. “We’ve still got a lot of work to do, but I’m pleased to find that our advocacy activities align with our members’ priorities, and the results will help us in our work to convince policymakers of the need to eliminate trade barriers to create jobs and economic growth.”
Key findings in the study focused on the need to renew AGOA as soon as possible and for a long term, as well as the need to abandon the strict “yarn-forward” Rule of Origin in future Free Trade Agreements and preference programs in order for companies to take advantage of them to help alleviate those worrisome costs.
The survey was conducted between March 2015 and April 2015. In terms of business size, 90 percent of respondents report having more than 100 employees in their companies, while 60 percent of respondents report having more than 1,000 employees, suggesting that the findings well reflect the views of the most influential players in the U.S. fashion industry.
About the United States Fashion Industry Association
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. Founded in 1989 as the United States Association of Importers of Textiles & Apparel with the goal of eliminating the global apparel quota system, USFIA now 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. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., USFIA is the most respected voice for the fashion industry in front of the U.S. government as well as international governments and stakeholders. With constant, two-way communication, USFIA staff and counsel serve as the eyes and ears of our members in Washington and around the world, enabling them to stay ahead of the regulatory challenges of today and tomorrow. Through our publications, educational events, and networking opportunities, USFIA also connects with key stakeholders across the value chain including U.S. and international service providers, suppliers, and industry groups.