2005 trade statistics show no apparel surge, importers say
Final figures for 2005 show that U.S. textile and apparel imports remained steady and increased at the same level ' 10 percent for the year ' as during the old system of quotas that ended Jan. 1, 2005, the United States Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel (USA-ITA) said in a statement.
The trade statistics 'prove that China was never going to overwhelm the U.S. textile industry or even other overseas suppliers. This reflects what we had predicted previously – that the end of the quota system would not lead to a huge surge in imports to the U.S. market,' said Laura E. Jones, executive director of USA-ITA.
The trade figures show a shift among textile suppliers that 'reflects mainly changes within Asia more than a major shift from other regions of the world to China,' Jones explained.
Early surges during the first few months of 2005, created by federal officials who administered the textile quotas, 'were simply a self-fulfilling prophecy that could have been avoided,' Jones said. 'I just hope the Bush Administration remembers this when we get near the end of 2008, when the new quota agreement with China expires. The market works, if you let it,' she said.