Trade and trade policy: the world’s leading clothing exporters

Date: July 22, 2009
Pages: 31
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US$ 785.00
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Publisher: Textiles Intelligence Ltd
Report type: Strategic Report
Delivery: E-mail Delivery (PDF)
ID: TF816891F58EN
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Trade and trade policy: the world’s leading clothing exporters
World clothing exports were worth US$345 bn in 2007, the latest year for which global data are available. Of this total, the world’s top 15 clothing exporters accounted for 86%, or US$298 bn. In terms of individual countries, China remained the largest exporter in 2007 with over US$115 bn worth of exports, representing 33% of the global total. The EU maintained its position as the second largest exporter, followed by Hong Kong, Turkey, Bangladesh, India, Vietnam, Indonesia, Mexico, the USA, Thailand, Pakistan, Morocco, Tunisia and Sri Lanka. Double digit growth in exports was enjoyed by the industries in China, the EU, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey and Vietnam. However, there were sharp falls in exports from Mexico and the USA, and in domestic exports from Hong Kong. Moreover, it is likely that the global economic downturn will have negatively affected the prospects of these industries further in 2008. As a result, there is pressure on policy makers to create growth opportunities in 2009.

The EU has renewed its Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) scheme and added three new beneficiaries to the GSP+ arrangement Armenia, Azerbaijan and Paraguay. However, Panama’s benefits have been rescinded because the country did not submit the required application before the EU’s deadline of October 31, 2008.

In 2009 China has attempted to reinvigorate foreign demand for its clothing products by increasing the tax rebate on exports. The move represented a reversal of a policy to restrain exports during 2007, which was an attempt to assuage potential concerns in the USA and the EU. Meanwhile, outward processing agreements (OPAs) with Hong Kong manufacturers have lost importance since the elimination of safeguard quotas on US imports from China at the end of 2008. But they are still being used by Hong Kong producers to keep costs down.

Elsewhere in Asia, Bangladeshi officials have unveiled a new strategy to increase clothing exports to US$25 bn by 2013. Vietnamese clothing exporters enjoyed a sense of relief as US customs officials lifted their Import Monitoring Program on imports from Vietnam which allowed the Vietnamese industry to move a step closer to achieving its ambitious targets for export growth to 2010 and 2020.

And Indonesia’s Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with Japan, which will encourage trade in clothing between the two countries, has taken effect.

In the Americas, Mexican officials have established “transition tariffs” to comply with World Trade Organization (WTO) regulations regarding imports of clothing from China. And US representatives hope that a recent decision by the US government to file a WTO dispute settlement case against Chinese clothing subsidies will bring relief to the USA’s ailing manufacturing sector.
SUMMARY

INTRODUCTION

MAJOR CLOTHING TRADE FLOWS

CHINA


Trade
Trade policy
Tax rebate increases
Outlook

EU

Trade
Trade policy
Expiry of the joint import surveillance system with China
Renewal of the EU's Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) scheme
The EU-Cariforum Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA)

HONG KONG

Trade
Outward processing arrangements with China
Trade policy

TURKEY

Trade
Trade policy

BANGLADESH

Trade
Trade policy
Export targets
Tariff-free treatment in the USA

INDIA

Trade
Trade policy
Government-led initiatives to encourage investment in the textile and clothing sector

VIETNAM

Trade
Trade policy
Expiration of the USA's Import Monitoring Program
Proposal to extend US countervailing duty law to cover imports from Vietnam
Export targets
Industry development strategy
Trade and trade policy: the world's leading clothing exporters

INDONESIA

Trade
Trade policy
Indonesia-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA)
Foreign direct investment

MEXICO

Trade
Trade policy
Elimination of anti-dumping tariffs and establishment of "transition tariffs"
Lowering of most favoured nation (MFN) tariffs
Regulation of the maquiladora industry

USA

Trade
Trade policy
THAILAND
Trade
Trade policy
Building closer ties within Asia
Expansion into innovative products

PAKISTAN

Trade
Trade policy
Tariff-free treatment

MOROCCO

Trade
Trade policy

TUNISIA

Trade
Trade policy

SRI LANKA

Trade
Trade policy

LIST OF TABLES

Table 1: The world's leading clothing exporters, 1980-2007
Table 2: Major regional flows in world exports of clothing, 2000-07
Table 3: Trends in average exchange rates of selected Asian countries and the euro against the US dollar, 1997-2008
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