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Study shows benefits from imported apparel

Industry News, Markets | April 1, 2013 | By:

It may not be made in the U.S.A., but a report analyzing the value chain for apparel manufactured overseas outlines where and how U.S. workers contribute to the value and global production of imported apparel. Trade economist Dr. Susan Hester’s report, “Analyzing the Value Chain for Apparel Designed in the United States and Manufactured Overseas,” found that using proprietary data to document the dollars associated with each stage of the global value chain for apparel, the U.S. value added exceeded 70 percent for the 20 product-company garments studied. The argument for higher tariffs on imported goods is challenged by the findings. Study results suggest that removing these tariffs under a trade agreement might lower prices to consumers and thus increase demand, support jobs and improve profit all along the apparel value chain. The Trans-Pacific Partnership Apparel Coalition, a group supporting a Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement, supported the report’s data. Hester, of Moongate Associates, a Seattle, Wash., consulting firm, formerly served as an international trade specialist in the Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA) in the Department of Commerce (DOC), as well as an international economist in DOC’s Trade Policy Information Division.

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