(note: the following comments are from students in FASH455 based on the video “Textile Manufacturing in America, post-globalisation”
Argument: The U.S. textile manufacturing industry has been a winner of globalization
Comment #1: The video highlighted some of the few remaining textile plants and the cotton refinery’s in the U.S. and how they are taking risks daily to stay afloat with risks of inflation and climate change. However, for these American companies to stay afloat, they must participate in globalization themselves. The video mentioned how these factories were using Swiss and German dying machines to make production more efficient. For these onshore jobs to stay alive, they have to now utilize globalized information and technology to stay successful.
Comment #2: Deeper down, the US textile sector seems to be winning in the long run. The squeeze that globalization has placed on them has allowed for innovation within the industry as they fight to stay relevant and compete with overseas goods. Operational slack such as high turnover jobs have been eliminated with automation, and US manufacturers gained a new branding niche that overseas companies do not: a US “personal touch.” Consumers may now be more willing to pay more for a garment just because it says it is made in the USA. USA-made clothing may now be perceived as higher quality and more scarce. The sentiment towards US-made goods and their quality could enact change to reduce overseas reliance, which is a win for US manufacturing in the long run. Additionally, globalization expands the export market for the US textile manufacturing sector.
Argument: the U.S. textile manufacturing industry has been a loser of globalization
Comment #3: According to the video, the U.S. textile manufacturing sector is a loser in globalization and international trade. Robert Lighthizer, a former U.S. trade representative, believes the drive to globalization saw the United States effectively giving away its own prosperity and success. He explains the effects of trade deals on jobs, illustrating how the U.S. would place most of its focus on service sector jobs and outsource its industrial base. However, this resulted in the loss of roughly 6 million jobs and 60,000 factories, destroying many communities all across the country and causing a lack of diversity in the job economy.
Comment #4: I think the US is a loser of globalization and international trade because they rely on other countries for their cheap goods and services. When I look at clothing tags, I rarely see them made in the US nowadays. Again, this is because the US being dependent on other countries due to unbeatable costs. I also think since we rely so heavily on other countries, it has contributed to job displacement.
Comment #5: The US textile manufacturing sector is a loser of globalization and international trade. Cotton production in the US is beneficial to the communities it exists in. However, these companies must fight against a strong dollar, competitors in China who do not always abide by the same regulations as US companies, and use cheap labor. When China entered the WTO, the US suffered greatly. Many textile factories in the US have closed, disrupting the entire community.
Comment #6: Overall, I believe that the U.S. textile manufacturing industry is a loser of globalization and international trade, mostly due to the competition from overseas. This competition includes more manufacturers from other countries, but also the competition of pricing since other oversea manufacturers are able to sell their cotton/textile materials at a lower price. Since the U.S. struggles to compete with these lower prices, they are forced to look for another way to have a competitive advantage in the textile manufacturing sector, such as lean manufacturing and technology improvements. At Carolina Cotton Works, Bryan Ashby shares how they have increased efficiency and use high-quality machines (note: imported) for their products. Although this sounds great, this also means that there are fewer workers.
Comment #7: I think the US textile manufacturing sector was a loser of globalization and international trade because big companies were using other countries for their sourcing and manufacturing. This was because it was much cheaper compared to the United States. In doing this, it declined the need for textile manufacturing jobs in the United States.
Comment #8: Globalization creates a trade dependence on imports. It’s important we don’t depend on things for when things happen that we can’t predict like the pandemic where we can’t import anymore. Since there was a lack of local textile manufacturing and sourcing in the United States compared to what was being imported, there was less of a chance for technological advances and improvement in the United States textile manufacturing sector. Post Globalization however may be the chance for the United States to bring back the textile manufacturing sector momentum. I think this because the United States has seen the result of heavily relying on other countries for their cheap labor/sources and this could add extra motivation for companies to want to figure out better alternatives in manufacturing in their own country.
Comment #9: I think currently the US is a loser to globalization only because brands want to get the product for cheap. I think brands think that would create more profit that way. However, I do believe we could get to a future where more things would be created in the US and wouldn’t have to pay that much in tariffs and other external prices. I think it would help boost people to work more. I think people are worried about making things in our country because of the relations we have with other countries.
Comment #10: U.S. Businesses are now focusing on the cheapest way to do everything instead of thinking about creating good jobs for their working community with fair pay. The U.S. is losing jobs, factories, communities, etc. in efforts to help other countries build themselves up through globalization. It is time for the U.S. to make some changes and look out for our own country and people.
Do you agree or disagree with any particular argument above? Any follow-up comments on the impact of globalization on the US textile manufacturing sector? What should government do with trade given the debates? Please feel free to share any additional thoughts.