By Katie Lobosco
Both the apparel and textile industries have benefited from NAFTA and said they could support a lot of what's in its replacement. But they disagree over one provision that apparel makers say could make it harder for them to manufacture inside North America.
The USMCA requires apparel products to use more North American-made fabrics in order to qualify for trade benefits. It specifically mentions sewing thread, pocketing fabric and narrow elastic bands.
Those restrictions "will make it more expensive and complicated for American brands and retailers to use the agreement" said Julia Hughes, president of the United States Fashion Industry Association.
"We are concerned that there will be some companies who shift operations out of the Western Hemisphere, or decide not to move new orders to Canada or Mexico because of these cost increases," she added.