By : Elle F. Yap
Countries in across the Americas and regional textile producers could stand to benefit from the current political and business decoupling between the United States and China, according to a study from the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA).
The new report, which was conducted by University of Delaware professor and industry consultant Sheng Lu, Ph.D., focuses on the fashion industry’s attempt to diversify its sources of labor and production away from China. The targeting against China by the US government is due to the accusations of forced labor in the country, including the alleged abuse and genocide of minorities like the Uyghur, grave accusation addressed in depth by the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act.
“As our survey results indicate, US fashion companies are eager to move out of China and find new sourcing destinations due to concerns about the forced labor risks and the deteriorating US-China relations,” Lu told Finance Colombia. “Especially for cotton apparel products, fashion companies are actively looking for new sourcing capacities beyond Asia to ensure no forced labor in the supply chain.”
Despite the priorities of the US government and industry response, the push does not seem to be bringing fashion manufacturing jobs into the country, with the report stating that “there is no sign that US fashion companies plan to significantly expand their domestic apparel production capacity or shift their business model back to manufacturing.”