Buoyed by improvements in economic growth and consumer spending, US apparel imports in the first six months of 2014 were 2.3 per cent higher than the same period the year before. In value terms, apparel imports climbed 2.96 per cent. Retailers have stocked up in anticipation of a busy spring and summer.
China saw a 2.2 per cent rise in the volume of its shipments to the US during the first half of the year. Massive double-digit gains continue to be seen by Vietnam whose share of the US market edged up from 10.1 per cent in the first half 2013 to 11 per cent in the same period of 2014. The country is also ranked as the fastest-growing apparel supplier to the US during the year so far, booking a hike of 12.9 percent year-on-year.
Vietnam has been gaining as both producers and buyers diversify their supply chains by moving some manufacturing from China. The country is also being buoyed by the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade treaty with countries including Canada and the US, which would potentially allow imports of Vietnamese products into these markets with significant tariff advantages and flexible rules of origin.
Bangladesh is the US’ third largest apparel supplier. When it comes to imports from the US other large suppliers, gains were posted during the first half of the year by India (up 8.8 per cent), Mexico (up 1.1 per cent) and Pakistan (up 3.5 per cent).