Evolving Patterns and Social Economic Impacts of World Textiles and Apparel Trade: Discussions Questions from FASH455


Patterns of world textile and apparel trade

#1 Based on the readings, why or why not do you think Africa is on the right track to become the next hub for apparel sourcing for western fashion brands?

#2 Based on the readings, do you think that any of the countries/regions discussed can become the “next China?” If so, what are the challenges faced by these exporters that have been gaining market shares (such as Vietnam and Bangladesh)?

#3 Why is Asian companies investing the most into the apparel industry in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) rather than U.S. or EU investors? Notably, the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is a trade preference program between the U.S. and SSA countries.

#4 If the punitive tariffs on Chinese goods are removed next year, why or why do you think U.S. retailers will increase apparel sourcing from China again?

#5 To which extent do you think the comparative advantage theory can explain the evolving world textile and apparel trade patterns?

#6 What policies or strategies could the US government use to convince companies to invest in the Sub-Saharan African region instead of countries like China and Vietnam?

Debate on used clothing trade

#7 Did you feel that the United States really explored every and any possible solution before deciding to suspend Rwanda’s eligibility under the AGOA? If not, what more could they have done or done differently?

#8 The US-EAC trade dispute on used clothing import ban is a very multilayered matter, which can be broken down with the help of trade preference programs. How can we improve the effectiveness of these trade preference programs and revolutionize them to become more significant in today’s economy?

#9 EAC countries are having a difficult time developing their local textile and apparel industry due to the large amounts of used clothing being imported and even proposed a high tariff to lower the amount of clothing being imported. Do you believe the ban on used clothing is the only option they have left for economic growth? If not, what are some ideas of ways they can grow their economy?

#10 The EAC countries have shown their unwillingness to used clothing trade. However, the US has presented that they are indifferent to regulate the used clothing trade as they are one of the biggest used clothing exporters. Are there any solutions to achieve the win-win situation on used clothing trade?

#11 The used clothing ban is put in place in order to develop the apparel and textile industry, but there needs to be more education for countries on sustainability. There is a big stigma about used clothing that needs to be abolished as well. An alternative to this ban is allowing used clothing, but also creating new clothing more sustainably so apparel and textile companies can profit. What are some other sustainable alternatives that benefit both sides?

#12 Given the debate on used clothing trade and its impact on East African nations, will you continue to donate used clothing? Why or why not?

[For FASH455: 1) Please mention the question number in your comments; 2) Please address at least TWO questions in your comments]

Author: Sheng Lu

Professor @ University of Delaware

6 thoughts on “Evolving Patterns and Social Economic Impacts of World Textiles and Apparel Trade: Discussions Questions from FASH455”

  1. #2 I do not think that there is another country that will become the “next China” as China will be replaced by a group of countries instead. Fashion brands and retailers are increasingly diversifying their sourcing to not become dependent like they have previously with China. I believe that the SSA is going to emerge as one of the countries that companies will increasingly source from as they are becoming a top apparel exporter.
    #12 As a consumer, I will continue to donate my clothing because I think it is an excellent way to recycle garments rather than putting them in the garbage and ultimately into landfills. I believe in general, the fashion industry should not be producing as many clothes for a ridiculous number of seasons, and the government should make a policy on the amount of clothing that is being produced by these big retailers. If we have less clothing to start from, then there will be less unused clothing to be donated.

    1. Why you believe “I believe that the SSA is going to emerge as one of the countries that companies will increasingly source from”? Any supporting evidence?

  2. #1. I think Africa has the potential of becoming a strong player in the apparel sourcing industry for western brands. I don’t think they will ever be as powerful as China, but with the help of more advanced countries, like the US and China, Africa could expand their apparel sourcing industry.

    1. why is that? For example, over the past 10 years, African countries have barely gained any additional market shares in the US apparel import market, despite AGOA. Few US fashion companies have invested in Africa directly…

  3. #12. I will continue to donate or try to sell my used clothing despite learning about both sides of the debate. As a consumer, I’m frequently purchasing new clothing items and I’d rather donate my used clothes instead of tossing them in the trash and having it end up in landfills. I know this may not be the best solution but as an average consumer, I’m not sure what else could be done in this situation to help.

  4. #2 I feel that Vietnam has the most potential at becoming the “next China”. Currently Vietnam ranks fourth in worldwide apparel exports valuing at 31.5 billion dollars with a growth rate of 13.4% compared to Bangladesh’s apparel export growth rate at 11.1%. Further, Vietnam’s textile to apparel export ratio has been rising steadily as well and for these reasons I foresee Vietnam as potentially becoming the next manufacturing powerhouse. However, Vietnam make experience some challenges in becoming the “next China”. Currently, Vietnam’s apparel manufacturing industry receives most of its textile imports which are used to create the clothing from China. If China is backed up or behind schedule and unable to export textiles as readily, Vietnam’s apparel production industry will fall behind schedule as a result. Therefore, in order for Vietnam to become the true “next China” they need to begin to source their own textiles.

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