#1 How have US importers/retailers/fashion brands which source from China reacted to China’s rising labor cost in recent years? Any specific examples of companies’ practices and strategies?
#2 It is widely reported that China’s labor cost has been rising quickly in recent years (around 14% annually between 2010 and 2014). But trade data didn’t show a significant drop of China’s textile and apparel exports to the US. Why is that?
#3 Why do you think people have a conception of China being a “highly reliable” sourcing destination for textile and apparel? What is China’s unique competitiveness?
#4 Many domestic and foreign firms have started investing in textile/fiber factories in Vietnam because of the yarn forward rules of origin in TPP. Would it be in the United States’ best interest to become one of these investors? Why or why not?
#5 In the class we discussed the “flying geese model” and the phenomenon of “Factory Asia”. Particularly, Asian countries are forming an ever more integrated textile and apparel supply chain—for example, apparel manufacturers in Asia are gradually using more textile inputs made in Asia rather than made outside the region. Does it mean that the United States has no role to play in Asia-based textile and apparel supply chain? Will the TPP make a difference?
#6 Should US allow China to join the TPP? Why or why not? If China joins the TPP, what will be the implications for the pattern of textile and apparel trade in the Asia-Pacific region?
#7 What is the relationship between the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)? Alternatives? Competitors? Friends? Foes? Why are there so many different free trade agreements (FTA) in the same region?
Please feel free to share your thoughts and recommend any additional articles/readings/resources relevant to the discussion. Please mention the question # in your reply.