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Friday, March 1, 2024

China determined to lead the apparel trade despite US trade curbs

With the lifting of covid-19 restrictions, the Chinese are back in business in a big way. They controlled the major global supply chains and efforts to locate suppliers near major brands’ headquarters have not been successful.

China established its monopoly on the supply of numerous textile materials on the strength of its huge capacities that provided it the advantage of economies of scale. The Chinese suppliers were cut out from the market because of long lockdowns due to the pandemic. They conceded that covid-19 period was torrid for them as they were confined at home.

However, they told the media that normalcy prevails in China and the apparel and accessories supplies are fully geared to assume the lead role they displayed before the pandemic. They also revealed that the domestic consumption of fashion apparel is on the rise in China, which would make up for some losses that they might suffer because of US sanctions.

Industry experts however pointed out that despite US trade curbs China is still the largest supplier of textiles and apparel to the United States. Its share is declining in volume but increase in terms of value as it has shifted to the highly valued apparel segment. The statistics of annual trade released by the Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA) and the US International Trade Commission (USITC), revealed that despite China’s continued Covid lockdowns and supply chain disruptions – it had not gone anywhere last year. China still is the largest source of apparel for the US market in 2022 by a large margin.

The Chinese government however realizes that its sole dependence on the US market is risky and it is funding its garment exporters to attend fashion shows and fairs to attract customers from others. Writing off a determined China from the apparel market is an uphill task.  

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