By: Kitty So

The desire of American clothing brands to source in the western hemisphere - rather than always heading east to Asia - has been a steadily growing trend for several years, according to Julie Hughes, president of the United States Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel (USA-ITA).

As for sourcing in neighbouring countries, brands have not only benefited from the DR-CAFTA, but also the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico, says Hughes.

"When you have duties that can average 17% on apparel but go as high as 32%, obviously the duty-free benefit...helps a lot on manufacturing closer to the US," she adds.

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