- Why do you think the German textile and apparel (T&A) industry supports the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP)? Should they?
- Should the U.S. textile industry worry about the competition from Germany after T-TIP?
- What strategy should the U.S. textile industry adopt in response to T-TIP?
Background: the German textile and apparel industry
- Similar as the case in the United States, the German T&A industry has significantly shrunk in size over the past few decades. In particular, employment and total industry output were only a fraction of what they were in the past.
- At the same time, the German T&A industry has undergone tremendous structural changes. While most simple production has gone overseas, German companies remain global leaders in the technical textile sector. Statistics show that the production of technical textiles in Germany went up by 40 percent from mid-1990s to 2011. Manufacturers of technical textiles in particular are benefiting from the increasing use of their products in new fields of application (e.g. vehicle construction, building industry, energy sector, medical technology and functional clothing).
- Additionally, German T&A companies in general support trade liberalization. On one hand, imported T&A components are of great importance for German T&A companies to get access to needed raw material today. On the other hand, German T&A companies are eager to explore export opportunities in many fast-growing emerging markets in the world. In 2011, Germany’s top export market for textiles were Poland, France, Italy and Austria. The United States was the largest non-European export market. Germany’s largest export market for apparel in 2011 include Austria, Netherlands, France, Switzerland and Poland.
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