We’ve been following the Trans-Pacific Partnership very closely and what it means for fashion. Will U.S. manufacturing truly benefit and more jobs be created or are we looking at another NAFTA thousands of jobs (more) are lost and hundreds of businesses suffer so that the U.S. can have access to poorly compensated foreign labor?
Lauren Sherman at Fashionista writes: “At its core, the Trans-Pacific Partnership is meant to help promote trade between participating countries — including Vietnam, Japan, Malaysia and Australia — by reducing tariffs and other costs associated with importing and exporting goods from one country to another. But the agreement says a lot more than that, and is a point of contention between President Obama and many of his fellow democrats.”
Fashionista continues: “Right now, the U.S. operates under a ‘yarn-forward’ rule. ‘That means everything from the yarn to the weaving of the textile to the cutting and sewing has to be done in a free trade agreement member country to avoid tariff,’ explains Susan Scafidi, founder and academic director of Fordham’s Fashion Law Institute. If they change that to a ‘single transformation’ rule, fabric woven and cut in China, but sewn in Vietnam, would be able to go tariff-free. While the U.S. textile industry is small, with exports mostly going to Mexico and Canada, textile manufacturers here are still generally concerned. (A lot of premium denim is woven here, as are high-tech textiles like Kevlar and Spandex.) Again, the government says that the removal of tariffs will encourage more exports of textiles from the U.S., not the other way around.”
Keep your eyes on this…