The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), a trade association representing more than 1,000 brands with members from across the entire fashion supply chain, released a statement in support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. With the TPP covering 40 per cent of the world's GDP and reaching approximately 800 million consumers, the trade pact represents significant opportunities for the clothing, shoe, and accessories industry. For this reason, and after consultation with our members, said the association expressing their strong support for the TPP.
The association says the US apparel, footwear, and accessories industry is a global industry in which nearly every US job in their business depends on access to foreign customers or global supply chains, or both. TPP will provide opportunities to reduce costs, stay competitive, and enter new markets.
They observed that the benefits of the TPP will materialize more quickly in the case of travel goods (items such as handbags, backpacks, and laptop cases) and footwear, which feature more flexible rules of origin and immediate duty-free treatment for a wide range of products. While there are some immediate opportunities for apparel, most apparel articles are constrained by extremely restrictive rules of origin and long duty phase-outs, meaning benefits will take longer to realize.
The US apparel, footwear, and accessories industry employs more than four million U.S. workers, and represents more than $360 billion in U.S. retail sales.