USFIA President Julia Hughes' Sourcing at MAGIC presentation, "What's On the Horizon for Trade Policy and Sourcing," was heavily quoted in a Sourcing Journal article about Biden's slower than hoped for review of the Phase One trade deal with China.
United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) president Julie Hughes lamented this reality Thursday during Sourcing at Magic’s online session “What’s On the Horizon for Trade Policy and Sourcing.”
“After the election and the Inauguration in January, I think many folks thought we were going to see a lot of things very different from during the past four years and that trade policy would be one of them,” Hughes said. “But, unfortunately, from my perspective, the tariffs and the trade wars are not over.”
Hughes also highlighted the ongoing migration crisis. Rather than a negative, she framed the current moment as an opportunity to expand Western Hemisphere sourcing, particularly in the Northern Triangle.
“We are definitely engaged in discussions with the administration and with our colleagues in the [Central American Free Trade Agreement] region, Central America and Western Hemisphere, on what might be ways to expand sourcing, create more jobs in the textile and apparel sector that will keep people from traveling to the border, coming to the U.S., because they’re going to have better jobs back at home,” she said.
Hughes also noted the expiration of the Trade Promotion Authority, a fast-track negotiating tool that would help the Biden administration work out potential trade deals, including with the United Kingdom and Kenya.
“Congress will need to approve Trade Promotion Authority and frankly, given the dysfunction that we have been seeing lately, it will be a hard ask for Republicans to support Trade Promotion Authority for a Democratic president and it’s likely to slow us down on new trade agreements that are negotiated,” Hughes said.
Though these issues are priorities for the USFIA, its president acknowledged that Congress is “a bit distracted” for now, given the current focus on the budget and the debt ceiling. Still, she said she expected action—at least on China—should come before the end of the year."