Chinese, US textile trade groups oppose protectionism

Chinese and US textile and apparel groups expressed concern over the escalating trade conflict and their opposition to protectionism during a trade show in New York recently. The conflict is not going to benefit US consumers and fashion brands or Chinese manufacturers, according to Xu Yingxin, vice-president of the China National Textile and Apparel Council.


Tariff increases will bring uncertainty to the stable global supply chain for top brands, an official Chinese newspaper reported quoting Xu’s remarks at the show's opening ceremony.

The council organized the 2018 China Textile and Apparel Trade Show New York with Messe Frankfurt North America. About 1,000 exhibitors from 17 countries attended the event, with more than 600 from China.

About 1,000 types of products listed in the textile and apparel category are part of the $200 billion in Chinese imports potentially subject to 10 per cent tariffs imposed by the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR).

Hearings will be held August 20-23 before a final decision will be arrived at in August end.

The products in the textile and apparel category in the US tariff list are raw materials like yarns, fabric, silk, cotton, lace, embroidery, and total about $4 billion, Xu said.

According to the annual survey of Washington-based United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA), which represents brands and retailers, a protectionist US trade agenda is the top concern for the US fashion industry for the second year in a row.

Companies are very concerned about broader implications of protectionism for the US economy, consumers and the global economy, USFIA president Julia Hughes said.

She said most sourcing executives feel there aren't enough viable options to replace China, according to the Chinese newspaper report.

China and US textile and apparel trade hit more than $44 billion in 2017 compared with $4.9 billion in 2001.

China remains the biggest textile exporter to the US, while the US is the No. 1 export market for China's textile industry, accounting for 17 percent of China's exports in the industry.

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