Washington, DC – Today, United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) President Julia K. Hughes will testify during the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative’s hearing, Impact of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) on U.S. Economy, Consumers, and Fashion Industry.
Her testimony will highlight the importance of trade between the United States, Canada, and Mexico for the fashion industry, and the need for business continuity in this time of uncertainty in trade policy and expected cost increases. While USFIA is supportive of several key components of the new USMCA—particularly the maintenance of the Tariff Preference Levels (TPLs) and the elimination of the “visible linings” requirement for duty-free treatment—we are nonetheless concerned about the continuation of the yarn-forward rule of origin and the addition of new regulatory requirements.
“The new regulations WILL make it more expensive and complicated for American brands and retailers to use the agreement. That is not an assumption, that is what companies tell us,” says Hughes. “So, complicated rules of origin and heavy documentation requirements mean we have a missed opportunity—for American companies as well as for our trading partners Canada and Mexico. Let’s be honest, if the Administration wants to encourage companies to move their sourcing out of China, it would make sense to make it easier to do business with America’s closest neighbors.”