Textile and Apparel trade is the most complex phenomena of the new globalization era. There are many factors that contribute to the complexity of global textile and apparel trade. One of the most prominent factors is the issue of free trade, which greatly affects the textile and apparel trade industry. Free Trade refers to trade without restrictions such as tariffs and quotas, which is hurting the industry. This means that many countries have access to our products that did not in the past.
The United States imports a great deal of labor intensive products such as apparel and furniture because of globalization; there is an increased integration of the interdependence between the world’s economies. Today textile and apparel production forms one global sector with one global market. Another reason that global trade for textile and apparel is so important is because trade is one of the most accurately measured economic activities for the sector.
United States textile and apparel producers are realizing the importance of participating in global trade and production for survival in the industry. A growing number of U.S. textile and apparel companies are joining their Asian and European competitors in assuming a more global orientation in their operations. Therefore, many industries are seeing potential markets beyond the U.S. borders.
The main issue of concern for the U.S. Textile and Apparel complex is the change in trade laws that are currently going into effect; this will show what the WTO will be expecting for 2005. Apparel and textile import quotas supposedly will be eliminated among all WTO-Member Nations; this will change the multi-billion dollar industry.
Some have a positive outlook for the future of the textile and apparel trade and a feeling that foreign operations of the U.S. companies are ready for some significant changes and the push of better trade programs will keep the industry safe in the no quota industry of 2005.