State of the U.S. Textile and Apparel Industry: Output, Employment and Trade (Updated March 2017)

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The size of the U.S. textile and apparel industry has significantly shrunk over the past decades. However, U.S. textile manufacturing is gradually coming back. Value added of U.S. textile manufacturing reached $17.98 billion in 2015, which was the highest level since 2009.

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Nevertheless, the share of U.S. textile and apparel manufacturing in the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) dropped to only 0.16% in 2015 from 0.57% in 1998.

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The U.S. textile and apparel manufacturing is also changing in nature. For example, textiles had accounted for nearly 70% of the total output of the U.S. textile and apparel industry as of 2015, up from 58% in 1998. Meanwhile, clothing had only accounted for 12% of the total U.S. fiber production by 2012, suggesting non-apparel textile products, such as industrial textiles and home textiles have become more important part of the industry.

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Manufacturing jobs are NOT coming back to the U.S. textile and apparel industry. From January 2015 to December 2016, U.S. textile manufacturing (NAICS 313 and 314) and apparel manufacturing (NAICS 315) lost 8,300 and 9,200 jobs respectively. However, improved productivity is one important factor behind the job losses.

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U.S. remains a net textile exporter and a net apparel importer. However, the U.S. trade surplus in textiles significantly dropped to only $68 million in 2016 from $347 million a year earlier. More U.S.-made textiles are now exported than a decade ago. Meanwhile, the U.S. trade deficit in apparel reached $81,754 million in 2016, which was slightly smaller than $86,311 million a year earlier.  

Sheng Lu

Additional readings:  The Pattern of U.S. Textile and Apparel Imports

Discussion questions:

#1 Is the state of the U.S. textile and apparel industry consistent with the stage of development theory? Please specify your answer.

#2 Based on the statistics, do you think textile and apparel “Made in the USA” have a future? Please explain.

#3 Based on the statistics, what is the impact of trade on the development of the U.S. textile and apparel industry: positive, negative, mixed or you need more information (please specify) to evaluate?

#4 Overall, do you think the U.S. textile and apparel industry is in good shape? Why or why not?

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Author: Sheng Lu

Professor @ University of Delaware

28 thoughts on “State of the U.S. Textile and Apparel Industry: Output, Employment and Trade (Updated March 2017)”

  1. #1 Is the state of the U.S. textile and apparel industry consistent with the stage of development theory? Please specify your answer.
    I believe that the U.S textile and apparel industry is consistent with the stages of development theory. When looking at the output structure of the U.S T& A industry, it is clear that as the years progress there is a shift from apparel manufacturing to textile mills, which is a key factor in the development theory. Furthermore, as a country becomes more developed and enters the full maturity stage the man made fibers become a large output which can be clearly seen in the pie chart “US Fiber production by end of use in 2012”, 48% of fibers made were industrial textiles which is consistent with the development theory. Lastly it can be said that the U.S. is entering the final stage, significant decline. There is a significant lose of jobs because of increased productivity with machines, as well as having a large trade deficit in apparel.
    #2 Based on the statistics, do you think textile and apparel “Made in the USA” have a future? Please explain.
    I do not think that that textile and apparel “ Made in the USA” will have a strong future based on the statistics. Both T&A have been on a steady decline when it comes to their contributions to the U.S GDP. Only 12% of fiber productions in the US had an end use in clothing in 2012. Furthermore jobs in the both T&A have severely dropped, which is in part to machinery, but clothing has to be made by hand, and the apparel manufacturing lost 9,200 jobs. Overall there is a steady decline in the textile and apparel industry in the U.S and it would be very difficult to bring it back up.

    #3 Based on the statistics, what is the impact of trade on the development of the U.S. textile and apparel industry: positive, negative, mixed or you need more information (please specify) to evaluate?
    Based off the information given I feel that it is having a negative impact because while the U.S is a net textile exporter and a net apparel importer, yet trade surplus on textiles had drastically dropped from $347 million to $68 million. This is bad because the use already has such a large trade deficit in apparel imports. However I would have to see more information such as a breakdown of the U.S imports and Exports, as well as a comparison of how much of the T&A made in the US is export and how much stays domestic to further evaluate this question.

    #4 Overall, do you think the U.S. textile and apparel industry is in a good shape? Why or why not?
    I think that the U.S textile and apparel industry is not in good shape. I believe that there had been a significant decrease in the employment in these industries over the past couple of years, which is not a good sign at least for the apparel manufacturing. Furthermore the T&A had been slowing decreasing in its contribution to the GDP of the country. The textile industry especially those for mad man fibers will continue, and possibly have growth due to new technology allowing for better productivity. However the apparel manufacturing needs major help.

  2. #1 Is the state of the U.S. textile and apparel industry consistent with the stage of development theory? Please specify your answer.

    Based on the article and past readings, I think the textile and apparel industry is consistent with the stage of development theory. Although the U.S. has already been developed and declined in the textile and apparel industry, it seems like the industry has come full circle and textile production is shifting back to the U.S. The first graph pictured, clearly shows the decline in apparel and leather products but an upward slant for textile mills and textile product mills. Right now the U.S. is in the start-up stage because it is gradually working to stabilize customer base, purchase inventory and open plants. Once the U.S. begins entering the growth and maturity stage, these textiles will become a major output (visually shown in the chart “US Fiber production by end of use in 2012”) . In addition, the export dependency ratio of the U.S. textile industry shows that textile mills are increasing at a faster rate than textile product mill, which would make sense and aligns with the development theory because they must focus on the basic (textile mills) in order to focus and expand to textile product mill.

    #2 Based on the statistics, do you think textile and apparel “Made in the USA” have a future? Please explain.

    Although the numbers do support the U.S. textile industry’s growth, I am unsure if the “Made in the USA” will have a prominent place in our future. With globalization being such an important aspect of the present, I am unsure if products will truly be made in America because there are still other process’ that the garment goes through besides just textile mills and production. Only 12% of fiber productions in the US had an end use in clothing in 2012, which shows they are a very small percentage of the entire process. In addition, there has been a major decline in jobs in T&A which does not promote growth at the moment. I think now, there is a chance for Made in USA apparel to increase, however, probably not a drastic amount. Overall because the U.S. is in its early stage of development back to textile mills etc. I think it is too early on to determine.

    #3 Based on the statistics, what is the impact of trade on the development of the U.S. textile and apparel industry: positive, negative, mixed or you need more information (please specify) to evaluate?

    Over the past few years, international trade and globalization has completely changed the textile and apparel industries. Like it was stated in the article, “the U.S. trade surplus in textiles significantly dropped to only $68 million in 2016, from $347 million a year ago”. Based off of this information, I do believe the impact is a mix of negative and positive aspects. Although the production of textile and apparel in the U.S. has declined, this is purely due to the U.S. and their desire to outsource. The U.S. lost jobs because of the decline of the U.S T&A which is negative, but they also were able to make more money to fuel, change and profit from the apparel industry and it’s cheap labor and production costs over seas. In addition, I think it would be beneficial to evaluate more information on the effects of the loss of T&A production on the U.S.

    #4 Overall, do you think the U.S. textile and apparel industry is in a good shape? Why or why not?

    I have mixed views on this question and I can really see it from both sides. The industry is in bad shape because it will be extremely hard to rebuild the industry, especially when big companies are accustomed to cheap prices and fast rates. In addition, the employment rate in the U.S. T&A has declined dramatically which would be difficult to rebuild as well. The T&A have been slowly decreasing its contribution to the GDP of the U.S. which shows it is not a prominent part of our economy. However, the U.S. textile and apparel industry is in good shape because of the rise in technology and our ability to produce textiles and apparel in a more eco-friendly, sufficient manner. If the U.S. focuses and puts a lot of energy into their advantage of being efficient and innovative with technology, then the U.S. might be in better shape than expected when traditionally producing textiles.

  3. #1 Is the state of the U.S. textile and apparel industry consistent with the stage of development theory? Please specify your answer.
    I do believe that the U.S. apparel and textile industry follows the stage of development theory. Over the years textiles have increased and there has been a decline in the apparel making up only 12% of the industry. There has been a heavy increase in machinery production of textiles and because of that, there has been a huge decline in employment, which represents the final stage of the Stage of Development theory.

    #2 Based on the statistics, do you think textile and apparel “Made in the USA” have a future? Please explain.
    – I do not believe that within the textile and apparel industry “Made in the USA” will have a future. Based on past studies and statistics the U.S. relies way too much on other countries for production of products. We have lost 8,300 to 9,200 jobs within the industry, although much of that was due to improvements in machinery. It will be difficult and take much improvements in order to make the industry the way it was many many years ago.

    #3 Based on the statistics, what is the impact of trade on the development of the U.S. textile and apparel industry: positive, negative, mixed or you need more information (please specify) to evaluate?
    When looking at the statistics I would say the impact on trade is more so negative. In the Trade balance bar graphs above it shows that in both the textile industry and apparel industry there is a steady. Although the trade balance shows the difference in price of the value of exports from the value of imports and not how many exports or imports we are achieving each year.

    #4 Overall, do you think the U.S. textile and apparel industry is in good shape? Why or why not?
    I think the U.S. textile and apparel industry is in need of major help. We rely way too much on other countries for production of our clothing and because of that employment has decreased. With that fast fashion has become a huge part of the industry with the demand of cheap clothes that follow modern day trends, which in order to make profits off of these clothing companies look for cheap labor and production elsewhere.

  4. #1 Is the state of the U.S. textile and apparel industry consistent with the stage of development theory? Please specify your answer.
    I do believe that the U.S. textile and apparel industry is consistent with the stages of development. We have went from a labor-intensive apparel manufacturing stage (early export of apparel), to then producing more manufactured fibers (golden age), to now seeing a significant decline in the employment within the field. When looking at the chart “Output Structure of the U.S. T&A Industry” you can see that the U.S. shifted from apparel manufacturing to textile mills which is a major part of the development theory. With this, when we look at the Fiber Production chart, we see that in 2012, 48% of the production was industrial textiles rather than clothing textiles. Lastly, we have entered the stage of significant decline, with 8,300 jobs lost in textile manufacturing and 9,200 jobs lost in apparel manufacturing due to increased productivity of the machines. And all of this leads to a big trade deficit throughout the U.S. T&A industry.

    #2 Based on the statistics, do you think textile and apparel “Made in the USA” have a future? Please explain.
    Based on the statistics shown above, I do not believe that textiles and apparel “Made in the USA” have a future. The size of the U.S. textile and apparel industry has significantly shrunk over the past decades. Although the U.S. textile manufacturing is gradually coming back, with value added of U.S. textile manufacturing the highest its been since 2009, the share of U.S. textile and apparel manufacturing in the U.S. GDP dropped to only 0.16% in 2015 from 0.57% in 1998. Along with this, U.S. Textile and Apparel jobs do not look like they are coming back to the U.S. any time soon. There is a constant decrease in the amount of jobs in the field due to the machinery being used and I feel as though it would be difficult for it to start increasing once again.

    #3 Based on the statistics, what is the impact of trade on the development of the U.S. textile and apparel industry: positive, negative, mixed or you need more information (please specify) to evaluate?
    Looking at the statistics given to us, I would say that the impact of trade on the development of the US T&A industry would be negative. The U.S. remains a net textile exporter and a net apparel importer. However, the U.S. trade surplus in textiles significantly dropped to only $68 million in 2016 from $347 million a year earlier. This is not a good sign due to the large trade deficit that the U.S. has in the industry already: $81,754 million in 2016. I am sure with more statistics on the U.S. imports vs. exports in different industries I would be able to properly answer this question in more detail.

    #4 Overall, do you think the U.S. textile and apparel industry is in good shape? Why or why not?
    I do not believe that the U.S. T&A industry is in good shape. When looking at all of the statistics, nothing is looking up for the U.S. in this industry. There has been a significant decrease in the amount of jobs due to the high productivity of the machines being used, as well as a significant drop in the U.S’s total GDP in this field. I feel as though we will always import our apparel due to the low costs offered in developing countries where they have the competitive advantage. Although we are doing well when it comes to textile industry, the apparel industry will always be something we suffer with and it will be interesting to see if this changes under the new presidency where he wants more things to be produced in the U.S.

  5. #1 Yes. However the beginings stages aren’t as apparent as the later stages. For example, the article doesn’t metion much about the embryonic stage where the US can only deal with natural fiber production then moves on to the early export of apparel where the US is more labor-intensive working on apparel assembling. The article really beings with the US moving on to more advanced production of fabric and apparel where the US beings to manufacture fibers. It goes on to mention how the US moves on to the golden age in which there is more manufactured fiber production and the country is no longer dependent on imported textiles. For example, how textiles had accounted for nearly 70% of the total output of the US textile and apparel industry as of 2015. The article then goes on to mention how the US reaches full maturity where employment begins to decline, such as how from January 2015 to December 2016, US textile manufacturing and apparel manufacturing lost 8,300 and 9,200 jobs. And finally the US is shown at a significant decline, where the size of the industry shrinks, offshore production begins, and it outputs mostly textiles. This stage is demonstrated as US remains a net textile exporter and net apparel importer.

    #2 Based on the statistics, I think textile and apparel “Made in the USA” may have a future. Based on the “Productivity in the US Textile and Apparel Industry” chart both in the textile manufacturing and apparel manufacturing there has been a steady increase since 1998 with the occasion of some downfalls. However, on the other side clothing had only accounted for 12% of the total US fiber production by 2012. Though productivity is on the rise, the amount of clothing being produced is very small. “Made in the USA” may have a future but it may not be as big in the apparel industry; it may be bigger in other industries such as for industrial textiles and home textiles.

    #3 Based on the statistics, I believe the impact of trade on the development of the US textile and apparel industry is mixed. I think it is mixed because there are always positives and negatives that come along with trade. The US is a net textile exporter and a net apparel importer because of this, trade effects the country very much. Depending upon what trade policies are put in place it could be negative or positive. But from what we have discussed in class in terms of the TPP not getting passed it is negative because the Partnership would have made trading much easier for countires involved.

    #4 Overall, I think the US textile and apparel industry is on its way to being in good shape. I do not think it is necessarily in the best of shape right now, however I think that it is making the right moves to get to a better state. Even though the amount of jobs are decreasing, productivity is increasing. Though it is machines that are replacing jobs, technology is something that the industry and every industry has to embrace. Also, with new President Trump trying to bring back jobs to America, we may see a positive change for the textile and apparel industry.

  6. #1 Is the state of the U.S. textile and apparel industry consistent with the stage of development theory? Please specify your answer.

    I believe the U.S. textile and apparel industry is consistent with the stage of development theory. We have been gradually moving from the embryonic stage, to the early export of apparel stage, to the more advanced production of fabric and apparel stage, to the golden age, to the full maturity stage, and are now in the significant decline stage. The U.S is now experiencing a significant decline of employment, large trade deficits in apparel, outputting mainly textile, and using offshore production for their apparel. These are all factors of the significant decline stage.

    #2 Based on the statistics, do you think textile and apparel “Made in the USA” have a future? Please explain.

    Based on the statistics, I do not think apparel “Made in the USA” have a future. As stated in the blog post, apparel manufacturing jobs are not coming back to the U.S. Other countries have a far better labor force then the U.S., and can produce apparel faster and cheaper. The textile and apparel industry has been declining in the U.S. for many years and I can not foresee it having a drastic increase anytime soon. Overall, I do not believe textile and apparel “Made in the USA” have a future because other countries will continue to produce these goods cheaper and more efficiently.

    #3 Based on the statistics, what is the impact of trade on the development of the U.S. textile and apparel industry: positive, negative, mixed or you need more information (please specify) to evaluate?

    Trade has an extremely significant role on the development of the U.S. textile and apparel industry. As mentioned in the article the U.S. trade deficit in apparel reached $81,754 million in 2016. It dropped a little from the year before, but that is still an extremely high number. Trade is definitely effecting the US textile and apparel industry in a negative way, because it is taking away jobs from the american people. Although this is occurring I do believe this is unavoidable and in the end, trade is helping the U.S. fashion industry as a whole. It allows the US to receive products faster and cheaper than if everything was produced in the U.S. It also allows for the U.S. to focus on the production of new technologies, which is where we should be excelling in todays world.

    #4 Overall, do you think the U.S. textile and apparel industry is in good shape? Why or why not?

    Overall, I have a mixed opinion on this question. On the one hand I think the US textile and apparel industry is declining and people are loosing jobs. But on the other hand I see the textile industry in the US thriving and the value added of U.S. textile manufacturing has been increasing in the past few years. Although the apparel industry is struggling, as I mentioned above, I do not think this is a huge issue for the U.S. Other countries have a larger labor force and it allows the U.S. to focus on other kinds of manufacturing. It will be interesting to see how the textile and apparel industry changes over the next few years.

    1. Great comment and very interesting viewpoints! One quick question: you don’t believe T&A “Made in the USA” has a bright future. But data shows that U.S. textile manufacturing is gradually coming back, and productivity in the industry is also up from $42,627 to $77,212 over the past decades. These numbers reflect a positive trend, don’t they?

  7. #1 Is the state of the U.S. textile and apparel industry consistent with the stage of development theory? Please specify your answer.
    The stage of development theory has 6 stages, from the embryonic stage to the decline stage. Towards the end, at stage 5, there is more textile output than apparel output, as well as the use of more capital. As mentioned in the post above, the U.S. is a big textile exporter and an apparel importer. These are consistent with the development theory, as America is towards the end of the stages. Additionally, since the U.S. is towards the end of the stages, it should also be outsourcing goods to be made overseas, which is what it is doing. Manufacturing jobs are going elsewhere, away from the U.S..

    #2 Based on the statistics, do you think textile and apparel “Made in the USA” have a future? Please explain.
    Yes, I do believe that the term “Made in the USA” has a future. Since there is less manufacturing of goods in America, it is less common to see that term printed on a tag. That being said, since it is less often that consumers will have garments that are “Made in the USA,” consumers want more. Consumers want what is low in supply but high in demand, and currently products that are made in the U.S. are low in supply. Additionally, the value of U.S. textile manufacturing is at an all time high since 2009, and the share of GDP for U.S. textile and apparel manufacturing has dropped less than half a percentage point since 1998.

    #3 Based on the statistics, what is the impact of trade on the development of the U.S. textile and apparel industry: positive, negative, mixed or you need more information (please specify) to evaluate?
    In my opinion, the impact of trade on the development of the U.S. textile and apparel industry is both positive and negative. The U.S. is producing less apparel goods, as it can find cheaper methods of producing the same goods overseas. Outsourcing has become more and more popular, as companies are able to pay less to have their goods produced overseas. However, the demand for goods that are “Made in the USA” has increased due to the lower supply. The value of U.S. manufacturing is at its highest since 2009. Also, consumers are very fickle and in a few years they may want goods that are produced overseas again.

    #4 Overall, do you think the U.S. textile and apparel industry is in good shape? Why or why not?
    No, the U.S. textile and apparel industry is not currently in good shape. Companies are pushing to have their goods outsourced due to cheaper costs, which leads to less manufacturing jobs in America. Between January 2015 and December 2016, textile manufacturing lost 8,300 jobs, and apparel manufacturing lost 9,200 jobs. In order to compensate for this, America is importing a lot of apparel products. The U.S. has a lot of products to offer to its consumers, however, a lot of these products are imported from other places.

    1. Great! Some of your classmates hold different views regarding the future of T&A “Made in USA”. Can you react to their comments and arguments?

  8. #1 Is the state of the U.S. textile and apparel industry consistent with the stage of development theory? Please specify your answer.
    Yes, state of the U.S. textile and apparel industry is consistent with the stage of development theory. According to the blog entry, “textiles had accounted for nearly 70% of the total output of the U.S. textile and apparel industry as of 2015.” This aligns with the stage of development theory because developing countries go from producing apparel to producing manufactures textiles as they go through the stages. It is also noted that Americans are now losing jobs because they are being replaced by technology. This indicates the U.S. is moving towards the significant decline stage as U.S. employees are being replaced by machines and the textile mill production is increasing.

    #2 Based on the statistics, do you think textile and apparel “Made in the USA” have a future? Please explain.
    I do not believe that “Made in the USA” will have a future. It is not in the United States’ best interest to make apparel because we no longer have the infrastructure to do so. Globalization plays a very active role in the economy and must be considered when answering this question. Companies will make the rational choice to produce apparel else ware because other countries have the comparative advantage to make clothes. Just 12% of all fiber production goes into making clothing and I don’t believe that this is enough to make “Made in the USA” something the average consumer will be seeing anytime soon.

    #3 Based on the statistics, what is the impact of trade on the development of the U.S. textile and apparel industry: positive, negative, mixed or you need more information (please specify) to evaluate?
    More U.S. textiles are being exported which has decreased the United States’ trade surplus “dropping to only $68 million in 2016 from $347 million a year earlier.” Therefore, I believe that the U.S. textile and apparel has a negative impact on U.S. trade. The textile and apparel industry has reached a $81,754 million deficit in 2016. Meaning that as a whole the U.S. is exporting less than it is importing. With the trade deficit, many economists are concerned about American jobs lost overseas. To make a more confident judgment on the impact of the development of the textile and apparel industry I would want to learn more about what trade deficits and surpluses mean for the U.S. economy as a whole.

    #4 Overall, do you think the U.S. textile and apparel industry is in good shape? Why or why not?
    For the most part I believe that the U.S. textile and apparel industry is not in good shape, but I also believe that some of the technological advances in textiles has been of benefit to the U.S. Some of the problems include a gradual decrease in GDP from the textile and apparel industry in the U.S. The share of the U.S. domestic manufacturing of textiles and apparel has decreased from 0.57% in 1998 to 0.16% in 2015. Along with the decrease in GDP, jobs in the textile and apparel industry have also decreased. On the more positive side, although not as many jobs as there once were, jobs are coming back into the U.S. for textile manufacturing where we can create textile efficiently and sustainably for countries around the world.

    1. Great comments! Two follow-up questions for the trade part (question #3): 1. Is it likely that job losses in the T&A industry were caused by technology advancement rather than by rising imports? 2. If imported apparel contains textiles originating from the US, shall we worry about trade deficit? Welcome for any further comments!

  9. #1 Is the state of the U.S. textile and apparel industry consistent with the stage of development theory? Please specify your answer.

    I believe that the textile and apparel industry is in line with the stage of development theory. Although the US has shifted the main focus of manufacturing to other countries, the graphs in the reading show that the US is finally taking back textile production. The increase of machinery to support textile production is a key factor in the final stage of the stage of development theory. As some of my classmates have stated, it is obvious that the US is a big textile exporter and an apparel importer.

    #2 Based on the statistics, do you think textile and apparel “Made in the USA” have a future? Please explain.

    Based on the recent statistics that from January 2015 to December 2016, US textile manufacturing and apparel manufacturing lost 8,300 and 9,200 jobs. Due to this information I am reluctant to think that textile and apparel “Made in the USA” will have a profitable/any future at all. I also think that because many jobs in the T&A industry are being replaced with machinery, it leaves even less possibility for “Made in the USA” to make a turn around.

    #3 Based on the statistics, what is the impact of trade on the development of the U.S. textile and apparel industry: positive, negative, mixed or you need more information (please specify) to evaluate?

    Obviously there are positive and negative aspects of most trade relationships. In this case, I think the impact of trade on the US fashion industry is positive because it allows us to import products cheaper and faster than if we were producing within the US with our work force. However, others will argue that this outsourcing is taking jobs away from the US people. A negative aspect of trade on the US T&A industry is stated in the reading, “dropping to only $68 million in 2016 from $347 million a year earlier”. This decrease in the US trade surplus is a negative factor and hopefully something that will change in the future.

    #4 Overall, do you think the U.S. textile and apparel industry is in good shape? Why or why not?

    Overall, no I do not think that the US T&A industry is in good shape. Western brands are pushing to outsource and find the cheapest countries to produce in, creating less manufacturing jobs in America. I also think that the US consumer is becoming more knowledgable about the things that occur in the factories overseas and they are changing the way they are purchasing based on sustainability factors and ethical practices.

  10. #1- I believe that the textile and apparel industry is consistent with the stage of development theory. The textile production is making a shift back to the US coming from Europe and Asia. Over years here has been an increase in textiles and a decrease in the apparel making, and a very big employment decline.
    #2- I unfortunately do not think that textile and apparel “Made in the USA” has a future. According the the article, the U.S. remains a net textile exporter and a net apparel importer, meaning that we will not be making the clothing. From January 2015 to December 2016 U.S. textile manufacturing and aparel manufacturing lost 8,2000 and 9,200 jobs.
    #3- After looking at the statistics, I think that the impact of trade on the development of the U.S. textile and apparel industry is negatify. The U.S. is remaining a textile exporter and a net apparel importer. The U.S. trade surplus in textiles also significantly dropped.
    #4- I feel in different about if the US textile and apparel industry is in good shape. Textiles have accounted for nearly 70% of the total output of the U.S. textile and apparel industry as of 2015 which is up from 58% in 1998, but clothing had only accounted for 12% of the total US fiber production by 2012.

  11. #1 Is the state of the U.S. textile and apparel industry consistent with the stage of development theory? Please specify your answer.
    I definitely believe that the state of the U.S. textile and apparel industry is consistent with the stage of development theory because the textile and apparel manufacturing is in a state of transition in the United States. With the introduction and advancements of technology, it is continuing to change how things are done. Nevertheless, with these changes there has been a shift of what these mills are manufacturing. While the textile manufacturing industry has been increasing from 58% to now 70%, textiles for clothing only contribute to about 12% of that, which shows that the focus has shifted. However, I believe the US is currently in the significant decline stage of the development theory, due to the reduction of jobs, the increasing trade deficit, and the advancements in technology.

    #2 Based on the statistics, do you think textile and apparel “Made in the USA” have a future? Please explain.
    While the manner of production continues to improve, manufacturing for the textile and apparel industry is not returning to the USA anytime soon. To start, at the moment only 12 percent of fiber productions ended up being clothing, which has lead to a consistent decrease in their contributions to the country’s GDP. Along with that, jobs in the industry have severely dropped, especially apparel manufacturing, which have lost 9,200 jobs. This is mainly due to the advancements in technology, like the machinery, which has made it difficult because clothing has to be made by hand. Also, many companies outsource their production to other countries like Bangladesh and Vietnam, due to the lower costs of manufacturing, which in turn increases their overall profit.

    #3 Based on the statistics, what is the impact of trade on the development of the U.S. textile and apparel industry: positive, negative, mixed or you need more information (please specify) to evaluate?
    Based on the statistics at hand, the impact of trade seems to be having a mixed effect on the development of the U.S. textile and apparel industry. While according to the article, “the U.S. trade surplus in textiles significantly dropped to only $68 million in 2016 from $347 million a year earlier.” This data is proving that the industry is improving their exports of textiles from years before, which means more profit and jobs. However, I do believe this is mainly due to the fact American businesses tend to outsource their production to other countries. On the note, I believe it will be important to evaluate more data in order to determine how much of an impact trade is having on the U.S. textile and apparel industry.

    #4 Overall, do you think the U.S. textile and apparel industry is in good shape? Why or why not?
    Overall, I believe the U.S. textile and apparel industry is not in the best shape that it could be. First off, many American companies have been accustomed to outsourcing their production, so it will be quite difficult to get them to change their ways and move it back to America. Since this is the case, employment in the industry has dramatically decreased throughout the years in the country and it will be hard to get it back to its normal numbers so quickly. However, with the advancements of technology there might be some hope in the future for some development for the industry in the country.

  12. #1 Is the state of the U.S. textile and apparel industry consistent with the stage of development theory? Please specify your answer.
    I think the U.S. textile and apparel industry is consistent with the stage of development theory. In the past decades, the U.S. textile and apparel industry has already finished the transition from fifth stage (full maturity) to sixth and final stage (significant decline). First, there is a rapid decline in overall employment in T&A, even though total output is increasing. Two charts in the article have proved it: “Productivity in the U.S. Textile and Apparel Industry” and “ Apparel Manufacturing Jobs in the U.S.”. From these two charts, we can see even the productivity per person in 2015 is approximately twice than its in 2005, 297 thousands of jobs are lost in T&A. Moreover, industrial concentration continues leaning to capital intensity industry. From the “Output structure of the U.S.T&A Industry” chart, we can see the output of textile is much more than apparel in past two decades, because apparel industry is labor intensity and textile industry is capital intensity.

    #2 Based on the statistics, do you think textile and apparel “Made in the USA” have a future? Please explain.
    For textile part, I think there is a relatively bright future for “Made in the USA”. However, for apparel part, I don’t think so. As I mentioned before, apparel industry is labor intensity and textile industry is capital intensity, the U.S. has no comparative advantages in labor intensive industries and that’s why American brands chose to source cheap and flexible labor overseas at the first place. However, textile industry is different. Even though there is also a job decline in textile manufacturing, but it doesn’t mean the U.S. doesn’t have comparative advantages. In contrast, employment decline in textile industry is because of the development of technology, automated machine production replaces the labor force. The more developed technology the country has, the more productive textile industry will be in the future. From this point of view, textile manufacturing has a bright future in the U.S.

    #3 Based on the statistics, what is the impact of trade on the development of the U.S. textile and apparel industry: positive, negative, mixed or you need more information (please specify) to evaluate?
    Based on the statistics, the impact of trade on the development of the U.S. textile and apparel industry is negative. As a net textile exporter and apparel importer, the U.S. trade deficit in apparel reached $81,754 million in 2016. And when a country experiences a trade deficit there are predictable negative consequences that can affect economic growth and stability. However, statistics are not the whole of the truth. I believe there are some other facts lying behind the number. Let’s imagine how about the U.S. reduces the import and increases “Made in the USA” apparel, labor cost up, labor flexibility down; retail price up, purchasing intention down. I don’t think it’s good for long-term development of the U.S. textile and apparel industry. Thus, my answer is mixed, we need more evidence to measure this problem.

    #4 Overall, do you think the U.S. textile and apparel industry is in good shape? Why or why not?
    It’s hard to say. Giving the low-skilled jobs away and focusing on technology bring the U.S. lots of benefits, and this strategy makes the U.S. economy developed rapidly in past a few decades. Now, Americans want to get the manufacturing jobs back because of the rising unemployment rate and indicate the U.S. T&A is in bad shape. However, they didn’t think too much about the adverse influence if they bring manufacturing industry back. So, again, I think we need more information to decide if the U.S. T&A is currently in good or bad shape, this is a complicated question which cannot be answered just rely on unemployment rate and financial deficit.

  13. 1.) The state of the U.S Textile and Apparel Industry is consistent with the stages of development in explained in the theory. We have gone through all 5 stages of development in the past, and now I believe we are in the sixth stage of development: significant decline stage. We have seen, and can see by the statistics in this article, that there has been a decline in employment, the size of the industry is shrinking, and most of the production is offshore and sourced to foreign countries. Our industry has stayed in line with the stages of development theory, and we are most definitely in the final stage. Hopefully we can improve upon our Textile and Apparel Industry in the coming years.
    2.) I think that it is possible, but will take a lot of time and effort to give “Made in the USA” a future. As we can see from the statistics, the Textile and Apparel industry is declining, however it was stated above that more made in the U.S textiles are now being exported than they were a decade ago. This statistic shows promise. If the amount of exports made in the U.S is on the rise, then there can be hope for Made in the USA’s future. If we are exporting more textiles made here, that must mean more textiles are in fact being made here. This is a good sign of hope for Made in the USA.
    3.) I think the impact of trade on the development of the U.S Textile and Apparel Industry is mixed. I think there are good and bad aspects to it. For example, it is negative because trade allows more imports of goods from other countries, which in turn means less American made products. However, this is impossible to squelch as globalization as taken hold and companies want cheap labor and prices. The impact of trade could also be positive because, as stated in the blog post, more American made textiles are being exported than a decade ago. This means the U.S textile and apparel industry is being stimulated by export demand.
    4.) I believe the U.S Textile and Apparel Industry is currently in bad shape. As we saw, the industry is declining, and globalization has allowed cheaper labor and cheaper prices to be found in foreign countries. The U.S Apparel and Textile Industry has a long, hard battle to fight for it to become in good shape. It is going to take a lot of effort to increase the size and profit of the U.S T & A Industry and to bring the manufacturing back home.

  14. #1 – I think the state of the US textile & apparel industry is consistent with the stage of development theory because it has gone through all of the stages and is having the most decline in jobs due to more technology and outsourcing of jobs. In the article it states how America’s textile industry is producing more non-apparel textiles, and that T&A jobs are not coming back to the U.S. because it has become so much more advanced globally than it was in past years.

    #2 – I do think that apparel made in the US will have a future, but for just emerging brands. Bigger companies are able to send production overseas while fashion brands starting out, may still keep production domestic, depending on how small the business is, this may be for a couple of years. So I feel like apparel production has a future in the U.S. but just not a very long one.

    #3 – The impact of trade on the US textile and apparel industry has been positive for textiles, but negative for apparel. The US is able to produce and export a lot more textiles today, but the increased demand for cheaper labor has decreased the number of American apparel production jobs significantly. Newer technology and machinery has allowed for the production of textiles that do not require a paid employee anymore, so output can be maximized and then traded with countries who need these textiles. Apparel production is till labor intensive, so most of these jobs have been outsourced to countries with cheaper labor wages. This is why apparel production has decreased significantly in the US.

    #4
    I think the US textile and apparel industry is in good shape, because American based businesses and brands are still very much thriving. i think that with more companies sourcing production overseas this will create more jobs for American companies who need personnel to oversee the production process, but not necessarily create the apparel itself. Also output of the US T&A industry is still very high, and the decreased need for American employees can help increase profits within the industry as a whole.

  15. #1 Is the state of the U.S. textile and apparel industry consistent with the stage of development theory? Please specify your answer.

    Yes i believe that it is consistent with the stage of development theory because we have seen the U.S T&A go through all of the stages and we have reached the point where it is in the declining stage. Past articles that we have discussed as well as statistics can show the gradual decline overtime leading us through the stages, up until now where we are in the last stage of development. Because jobs are being outsourced due to factors of globalization as well as the increase in technology, the U.S T&A is significantly being negatively impacted.

    #2 Based on the statistics, do you think textile and apparel “Made in the USA” have a future? Please explain.
    I dont think that Made in the USA T&A has a future just because globalization plays a huge factor in production of apparel and also because I dont believe that the US has all of the resources that it would take to successfully allow T&A to be “Made in the USA” alone without any outsourcing involved. I think it would take a long time and a lot of money and I dont believe that is realistic right now

    #3 Based on the statistics, what is the impact of trade on the development of the U.S. textile and apparel industry: positive, negative, mixed or you need more information (please specify) to evaluate?
    I think that it is mixed between positive and negative. I believe that when it comes to trade there can always be a plus side and a down side. The US is a net textile exporter and net apparel importer. Trade is very important and significant in this country. But according to the graphs and statistics trade has a negative impact and can be seen in the decrease in the trade surplus.

    #4 Overall, do you think the U.S. textile and apparel industry is in good shape? Why or why not?
    I dont think that it is in good shape but i think with more work and time it could have the potential to be. I think that even though there is a significant decrease in job availability, a good sign that we may be on track in the right direction may be indications of increase in productivity.

  16. 1. I believe the U.S. Textile and Apparel industry is consistent with the stage of development theory. We have seen the industry go through many of the stages and are now seeing it in the declining stage. We continuously talk about how the U.S. manufacturing is declining due to outsourcing to different countries. The U.S. T&A has had many stages and developments, but it is now believed to be on the downslope.
    2. I do not think textile and apparel “Made in the USA” have a future. We rely so heavily on imports and the usefulness of globalization I do not see us moving in this direction. The outsourcing in other countries is just too beneficial to companies to give up. Most companies make their number one priority price and the ability to profit. The “Made in the USA” label doesn’t allow them the most profit and therefore most companies would not jump on board.
    3. Trade seems to be declining in the US T&A which has a direct affect on the industry. I believe this has a negative effect due to the enormous weight and reliability we put on globalization and the ability to import goods. With trade declining, that means products coming in to the US are declining and therefore leaving us with much less product. However, with trade declining it might force the US to actually manufacture the textiles they would have originally exported. This may create jobs and have a positive impact on the industry.
    4. I think the US textile and apparel industry has a good chance of becoming in good shape. It is definitely not there yet, but it has been seen that the value added is gradually increasing. On the other hand, the GDP and trade are declining. I think the US textile and apparel industry has to go through more changes and figure out how to work with the new ideas and ways of manufacturing.

  17. #1 The state of the US textile and apparel industry is consistent with the stage of development theory because the US is in the Significant Decline Stage, along with many other developed countries. This is because the output is mostly textiles of man-made fibers, out-source production of apparel, and large trade deficits in apparel. The US has evolved over the 6 stages, from the Embryonic Stage to the Significant Decline Stage by having an output structure that involves having a system that mostly produced natural fibers to now having a production system of man-made fibers.

    #2 I think that the US will continue to produce textiles, but as for “Made in the USA” apparel, I think large brands will continue to source labor from other countries due to the costs. As for emerging brands, initially it may start off being produced domestically, but as companies grow, the pattern seems to be a constant decision to source to countries such as China, Bangladesh, Mexico, etc.

    #3 Based on the statistics, I think it is mixed, including both positive and negative aspects. In trade, there will be “winners” and “losers” depending upon the circumstances of which country is able to produce more, or better quality, and with the cheapest costs. As technology evolves, textile manufacturing can replace people with machines, whereas apparel production is still a labor intensive system.

    #4 Overall, I think there are many changes that can take place to make the US textile and apparel industry more sustainable, and give US workers more jobs. I think these issues can be potentially solved with the cooperation of fashion brands, manufacturers, and the government.

  18. #1 I think the state of the U.S. textile and apparel industry consistent with the stage of development theory. Because over the data in this article, the stage of U.S is declined right now, which means it could be improved and developed in the future.
    #2 I think there is some brands or apparels will still “Made in the USA”, and actually some customers will like to purchase this products because they think the product make in the USA has better quality and is valuable. However, as the fact, many brands want to pay lower labor fee to increase their profit, so they will continue to produce their products outside of the U.S.
    #3 I think based on the statistics, both positive and negative impact of trade has occurred the development of the U.S. textile and apparel industry. Companies in the U.S won because they increased the profit of the company, but the whole country lost because the GDP decreased.
    #4 Over all, I think the U.S. textile and apparel industry could be better and can be improved by the cooperation with the government and fashion companies.

  19. #1 Is the state of the U.S. textile and apparel industry consistent with the stage of development theory? Please specify your answer.
    Yes, the state of the U.S. textile and apparel industry is consistent with the stage of development theory. But I do believe that as of right now, other countries, such as China, are starting to reach the Golden Age stage as well. Currently, we do have a lot of natural fiber production, as our cotton industry is still pretty large, but we are not known as a labor-intensive society that assembles apparel and works in factories. In the past we probably did have such work here in the U.S but it definitely has declined and now we are in the last stage of the development theory.

    #2 Based on the statistics, do you think textile and apparel “Made in the USA” have a future? Please explain.
    Based on the statistics I think that “Made in the USA” has a future but it is limited and will only apply to very specific American-based brands. There are companies that want to make sure that “Made in the USA” is in their core values. These companies focus very much on having everything they sell produced in the United States and I believe that there will always be companies similar to that. But I do not think “Made in USA” will be a huge movement in the future. Simply going off of statistics and the fact that Americans do not want to work in factories, it simply isn’t possible.

    #3 Based on the statistics, what is the impact of trade on the development of the U.S. textile and apparel industry: positive, negative, mixed or you need more information (please specify) to evaluate?
    Based on the statistics, the impact of trade on the development of the US textile and apparel industry is not a positive one. Companies are definitely taking advantage of trade but the only reason they are doing this is because of the US consumer. In today’s world, fast fashion is huge, and the US consumer does not want to pay $200 for a top that they can pay $20 for. U.S. companies are forced to ensure that their production cost is not too high so that they can sell their product for a cheaper price. And in the U.S. price for production is simply too high. After research we have found out how unethical and dangerous some working conditions are around the world, specifically in this industry. And it is a very good thing that the U.S. has such policies in place to ensure that our people do not have to work in such conditions. But this leads to a vicious cycle where companies do not want to pay the high prices in the US so they outsource to other countries but those places are not ethical or safe in anyway but they have to do this in order to please their consumer and in the end make a profit.

    #4 Overall, do you think the U.S. textile and apparel industry is in good shape? Why or why not?
    Overall, I think the U.S. textile and apparel industry is in good shape but also bad shape. We have ethical and safety laws in place to ensure that any employee who works in this industry is being treated and paid fairly, something that does not happen in this industry in other places around the world. But in terms of growth and prosperity I do not think that the US textile and apparel industry is in good shape. We simply do not have the capability to grow much more and I do believe that many other countries are beating us out.

  20. #1 By looking through the reading, I think that the US is consistent with the stage of development theory; as we had previously shifted production away from the US, as we reach the maturity stage, our production is coming back home and becoming domestic again.
    #2 Based in increased productivity in the apparel sector based in the US, I think that the industry here will be able to support itself. The number of jobs may very well decrease significantly due to the mechanization of textile and apparel, going from 404,600 to 225,000 in the past decade, but the industry as a whole will be fine.
    #3 The impact that trade has had on the textile and apparel industries is hard to determine from jst a few graphs. It is a majorly complex issue that has many different viewpoints. It is obvious that the US imports a lot more finished apparel goods from other countries than it exports to them, but the trade balance of unfinished textiles is positive, as we are exporting more than we import. One may be able to draw a conclusion from just these points, but it is a very small viewpoint to look from.
    #4 I think that the industry could use some reform but it is not as easy as just limiting trade with other countries. Fostering the idea that being a skilled laborer is being lost in our country and before we can add more jobs back into the textile and apparel sector, we must find people who can fill these jobs. Our industry is in no way perfect and could use serious reform but it is not as simple as some people seem to think it would be.

  21. #1 I think the US is consistent with the stage of development theory although, because we have moved a lot of the manufacturing and production to different countries I think we are more at the maturity stage.

    #2 There has been an increase in productivity but a decline in jobs due to technology and machines. I think as a whole the US and the apparel and textile industry will be fine for the future. There are just issues today that the industry needs to face and make decisions that would be mutually beneficial for most people as well.

    #3 I think the impact trade has had on the textile and apparel industry is a mixture of good and bad. From the graphs shown here you see the decline in jobs but an increase in productivity. From class discussions trade has been able to provide jobs for other people in developing countries that would otherwise be amongst poverty. For the United States I think lately it’s been a little tricky for us to try and find a balance of benefiting us but also keeping relationships globally. However I think with whatever industry you analyze you will also see similar negative and positive factors with trade.

    #4 We can’t just end trade with different countries that we have done trade with for so many years, that just isn’t realistically possible. I think the United States needs to brainstorm on ways to promote domestic wealth on top of keeping up with foreign relations. There needs to be a way where there are enough jobs for people in the United States so our economy is secure but also to make sure that we aren’t leaving other countries high and dry.

  22. The following comment is from ldamour:
    #1 Is the state of the U.S. textile and apparel industry consistent with the stage of development theory? Please specify your answer.
    The U.S textile and apparel industry is consistent with the stage of development theory. There are six parts to the theory, they are:
    1. Embryonic stage
    a. This would have been during the initial stages of production of textiles in the U.S during cotton production mainly in the southern states.
    2. Early export of apparel stage
    a. This would have been when the factories in the U.S were in use such as in Lowell, MA.
    3. More advance production of fabric and apparel stage
    a. This was done through computer technology to make the textiles and apparel.
    4. Golden age stage
    a. This includes the production of rayon and polyester.
    5. Full maturity stage
    a. Employment starts to decline, which is what happened in the 90s when the U.S started to export to China
    6. Significant decline stage
    a. This is the current state of the U.S textile and apparel industry is in. There is a large trade defect for apparel and a significant decline of employment within the U.S textile and apparel industry.

    #2 Based on the statistics, do you think textile and apparel “Made in the USA” have a future? Please explain.
    Based on the statistics, I do not think that textile and apparel “Made in the USA” have a future. It seems that the work is continuing to leave the United States. The main reason for this is because improved productivity is one important factor behind job loss. The manufacturing jobs for apparel and textile mills no longer exist to the same capacity that they once did.
    #3 Based on the statistics, what is the impact of trade on the development of the U.S. textile and apparel industry: positive, negative, mixed or you need more information (please specify) to evaluate?
    The impact of trade on the development of the U.S textile and apparel industry has a positive relationship. As the value of gross output increases the value of exports also increases, generally speaking. The trade surplus in textile has significantly dropped which decreased the trade deficit as well.
    #4 Overall, do you think the U.S. textile and apparel industry is in good shape? Why or why not?
    I do think that the U.S textile and apparel industry is in good shape. The U.S is one of the most advanced countries in the world, it’s not necessarily plausible to expect textile and apparel jobs to stay in a country that offers more higher paying higher skilled jobs. For the progress the country has made the U.S textile apparel industry is in good shape because there is still an existence of an industry.

  23. #1 Is the state of the U.S. textile and apparel industry consistent with the stage of development theory? Please specify your answer.
    The U.S textile and apparel industry is consistent with the stage of development theory. There are six parts to the theory, they are:
    1. Embryonic stage
    a. This would have been during the initial stages of production of textiles in the U.S during cotton production mainly in the southern states.
    2. Early export of apparel stage
    a. This would have been when the factories in the U.S were in use such as in Lowell, MA.
    3. More advance production of fabric and apparel stage
    a. This was done through computer technology to make the textiles and apparel.
    4. Golden age stage
    a. This includes the production of rayon and polyester.
    5. Full maturity stage
    a. Employment starts to decline, which is what happened in the 90s when the U.S started to export to China
    6. Significant decline stage
    a. This is the current state of the U.S textile and apparel industry is in. There is a large trade defect for apparel and a significant decline of employment within the U.S textile and apparel industry.

    #2 Based on the statistics, do you think textile and apparel “Made in the USA” have a future? Please explain.
    Based on the statistics, I do not think that textile and apparel “Made in the USA” have a future. It seems that the work is continuing to leave the United States. The main reason for this is because improved productivity is one important factor behind job loss. The manufacturing jobs for apparel and textile mills no longer exist to the same capacity that they once did.
    #3 Based on the statistics, what is the impact of trade on the development of the U.S. textile and apparel industry: positive, negative, mixed or you need more information (please specify) to evaluate?
    The impact of trade on the development of the U.S textile and apparel industry has a positive relationship. As the value of gross output increases the value of exports also increases, generally speaking. The trade surplus in textile has significantly dropped which decreased the trade deficit as well.
    #4 Overall, do you think the U.S. textile and apparel industry is in good shape? Why or why not?
    I do think that the U.S textile and apparel industry is in good shape. The U.S is one of the most advanced countries in the world, it’s not necessarily plausible to expect textile and apparel jobs to stay in a country that offers more higher paying higher skilled jobs. For the progress the country has made the U.S textile apparel industry is in good shape because there is still an existence of an industry.

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