Part III Trouble at the Border

20140922_Salerno_URITextiles_CottonSummit_Frame0260

In September 2014, Julia Hughes, President of US Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) and Auggie Tantillo, President of National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) visited University of Rhode Island and served as distinguished guest speakers for the 2014 URI Cotton Summit.

With Julia Hughes, President of the U.S. Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel

Matt particiapted in debate

In Fall 2011, Matt Priest, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce, was invited to serve as a panelist for the policy debate term project in TMD 433 through Skype. In the above picture, after listening to students’ presentation, Matt further exchanged views on the complexity of making the U.S. textile and apparel trade policy.

 

 

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97 thoughts on “Part III Trouble at the Border”

  1. After reading part III of The Travels of a T-shirt in the Global Economy, I was interested to read about Auggie and the American Manufacturing Trade Auction Coalition (AMTAC), an advocacy group dedicated to preserving manufacturing jobs in the U.S. textile and apparel industries. It is interesting to learn that he is so passionate about keeping jobs in the U.S. and it is terrible that he predicts the fight with China could be the last. As stated, “Between 2000 and 2007, the U.S. textile and apparel industries lost more than one-half of their remaining jobs and looming on Auggie’s horizon—and on the horizon of manufacturers everywhere—is the china threat, as well as a new set of rules to take force in 2009.” Auggie also visited the American Textile Manufacturers Institute (ATMI). I learned that the ATMI had been the booming voice of the industry in Washington for half a century and now the ATMI is gone because the majority of people in Washington are realists than idealists.
    I was also interested to read chapter 10, when the book talked about employment. As chapter 10 states, “While textile and apparel employment in the United States peaked shortly after World War II at approximately 2.5 million workers, the industries in 2008 employed about 500,000 people, which accounts for about 4 percent of manufacturing employment.” I was most intrigued to read about the factors that explain the dominance of politics in trade. The first factor is the size of the textile and apparel manufacturing base, the second factor is the strength of industry alliances and the access the alliances have to policymakers and the third factor is that the American public is increasingly nervous about trade.
    I found chapter 12 especially interesting because it talks about President Barack Obama and the 2008 presidential race. Politics are fascinating and I was happy to learn that he wanted to help the textile industry by devoting resources to the North Carolina textile communities and he wore suits that were made in America throughout the campaign. The only way to truly prove what you believe in is not by saying it, but by actually doing it and that is exactly what Obama did. Actions speak louder than words. He also wrote a letter to Cass Johnson of the NCTO saying that he was committed to pursuing most of the aggressive policies requested by the industry.
    I enjoyed this part of the book and I look forward to reading part IV.

    1. good comment. as you can see, trade policy is a both critical and sensitive topic. Different sides may demand totally different policy actions. For an industry, it needs to be clear about what policy is in its best sectoral interest. While for a policy maker, he/she needs to clear about what is in the best national interests. Often time, these two are not necessarily the same.

  2. Part III of the book discussed a lot about what we have been talking about in class. Many USA textile and apparel factory workers have lost their jobs due to companies choosing to do business in China. This understandably upset a lot of people in the US textile manufacturing industry, such as Auggie, who decided to try to do something about it. We talked in class about how there are always winners and losers in the industry and how if political leaders do not make desirable choices, it can lead to protests. I like how the book explains the effects of politics on the textile and apparel industry. For example, the book describes how politicians seemed to want to help people like Auggie only to win their votes. The book states “…policymakers have played a wink-and-nod balancing act with Auggie and his troops, trying to toss (or promise) them enough crumbs to get their votes and cooperation, but not so many as to make an obvious mockery of the free trade rhetoric” (p160). It makes it seem as if politicians only make decisions to quiet protests instead of because they actually really care about the issue at hand. Although it seems right to protect manufacturing jobs here in America, the author brings up the point that there is a loss of textile jobs globally due to “rapid advances in technology and labor productivity” (p173). On the bright side of things, the loss of these jobs has led to opportunities due to “technical and scientific innovations” (p185). A lot about this section of the book talks about trade and quotas and the effect on the textile/apparel industry. It seems that putting restrictions on one product benefits part of the industry but hurts another part of it. I particularly enjoyed the last few pages of this section when the author talks about how British citizens were forced to where wool instead of imported cotton products in order to protect their domestic market. Although this was less desirable for British consumers, it eventually led to the development of machinery used to make cotton products in Britain. It makes me wonder what would happen to the industry in the USA if we were not allowed to use imported textile and apparel products. I think this would be impossible.

    1. Great comment and thoughts!! I hope our class discussion this week on T&A trade policy will solve some of your puzzles and further open your minds on the issue. To put it simple, industry leaders always think about the sectoral interests while the US president has to think about the national interests. A lot of times, they have to make tough choices~ On the other hand, to answer your last question, you can check the latest blog under the “learning community” tab

  3. I felt that “Part III: Trouble at the Border” of Travels of a Tshirt talked about issues that are going on “behind the scenes” of the textile & apparel trade industry. The information that I gathered from these chapters has the potential to be very valuable to a person entering the textile and apparel industry. It is imperative to know “both sides of the story” when it comes to globalization and trade. The beginning of Part III exposes the magnitude of China’s dominance over the apparel industry. Auggie Tantillo, a man fighting to keep textile and apparel manufacturing jobs in the US, predicts that China will essentially ruin the US textile and apparel manufacturing industry. He explained that we have already lost countless jobs to China and this pattern will only continue. He strives to bring more of those jobs back, or “re-shoring,” as we called it in a previous assignment. Although I admire Auggie’s dedication and passion for his cause, I can’t help but see more logic in Julia Hugh’s views. As the President of the US Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel, she believes that trying to re-shore textile and apparel manufacturing jobs would be fruitless. The US would lose more money than they would gain. I believe that Julia has a very modern view to the industry. She sees that because of globalization, the industry is drastically evolving. The most realistic action to take is to keep up with the changes and adjust our industries accordingly. Yes, it is a shame that manufacturing jobs are decreasing in the US, but other jobs are being created because of the same cause.

    Rivoli’s discussion of politics was extremely relevant because of the upcoming election. Politics ultimately control trade and how the textile and apparel industry will operate. Rivoli mentions Obama’s support in his 2008 campaign to the apparel industry and how he made promises to protect North Carolina’s manufacturing industry. Although he kept this promise, Rivoli also talks about policymakers telling US manufacturers that they will help them in return for their vote. Both Obama and Romney spoke about domestic manufacturing in the presidential debates. They both made it clear that they want to help small businesses and US based companies remain successful in the US. It still leaves me wondering- are they telling the truth?

    After completing Assignment 3, I have become familiar with the rules of origin talked about in the preceding chapter. Overall, it seems as though the yarn-forward rule and fabric-forward rule are great options to boost the US economy. Instead of competing with China’s apparel production, the US can produce yarn/fabric for specific countries that will export finished apparel back to the US. For example, NAFTA and CAFTA benefit the US because they can export yarn/fabric to the involved countries. The involved countries also benefit because they can export to the US duty-free. Now, with TPP in the works, it will be interesting to see if they employ rules of origin in their trade agreements.

  4. Part three of The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy starts to talk about how Auggie Tantillo cannot go into a Wal-Mart because he is the executive director of the American manufacturing trade action coalition. This group wants to preserve jobs in the U.S textile and apparel industry. Hearing something like this I don’t want to support Wal-Mart anymore. Especially being that I am graduating in a year and I need of a job, I do not want there to be no jobs in America because they all were sent abroad. Hearing the opposite side of Julia Hughes who is supporting the clothing in China is horrible. I don’t know why anyone would want to support things that can later hurt the job economy of the United States. When the book started to talk about how in 2008 the came out with the Central America Free Trade Agreement. Since we were learning about this in class I think it is a good idea. Having the import of the product be duty free is helping the United States out. Also it is using our product, which allows us to be able to keep jobs in the United States.

    In chapter ten it mentions about all our past presidents and how politics affects the global economy. These problems about the apparel industry used to be important enough to be in the president’s speeches to win the election. This was a very important thing to the American people. Throughout reading this chapter I have noticed a lot of these words are of what we are learning right now in class. Hearing about how large the textile industry is and where it has come from is interesting to know about.

    In chapter 11 one line stuck out to me a lot “ textile and apparel manufacturing jobs in the United States have been vanishing and will continue to vanish, with or without protection from imports”. This to me is crazy. To think about how jobs are just going to keep disappearing with or without protection from imports. After reading further into the chapter I can see why “while production, revenues, and exports are growing, employment is shrinking because of rapid advances in technology and labor productivity. In short textile jobs are not going to China; textile jobs are just going period. In the world today we are always trying to advance to better and bigger technology but actually the technology we are creating is hurting us in the long run. We are making machines that can produce more then people can produce cause them to take the place of a worker and have less to pay for because a machine doesn’t need to get paid. The world eventually will not only lose jobs in the textile industry but in the industry’s around the world of any sector. The United States is bring its own country down because we are producing more technology.

    In the last chapter in section three there is a part that was interesting to me when Obama sent a letter to NCTO’s regarding that he aware of the trade challenges faced by those working in out textile industry. When Auggie was asked if they think this letter helped him win North Carolinas victory he said yes! This had me taken back because did he really do a good job at saving jobs in the United States. This section was very eye opening and made a lot of sense on why we are where we are today. The politics of the apparel industry are so intense I had no idea. Rivoli did a great job of explain the fear some countries have over china. Also I didn’t know how involved the presidents were with the whole textile and apparel industry. To me this didn’t seem like the biggest deal until reading this part of the book. I was taken back by this section, there was a lot of good information many people should know.

  5. In part III of “Travels of a T-shirt” it was interesting to read about how the textile industry is different than the other sectors of the fashion industry when it comes to the issues of free trade. For one thing, the U.S. textile industry is more likely to be heard than the retail industry, because the textile industry is generally located in the southern states versus spread throughout the country leaving it “nobody’s congressional priority.” This is why so many safeguards are installed to protect the textile industry, or why all of the presidents winked and nodded, as to please the industry so that it will be quiet. It is fascinating to see how the U.S. apparel industry started to veer off from the cause of the textile industry, because the U.S. apparel industry needed access to cheap foreign fabrics in order to compete with foreign competitors. Auggie and the U.S. textile industry were limiting its access to foreign fabrics and as a result, in order to stay competitive, U.S. apparel companies sourced their products from abroad. This seems to be a trend, with the textile and the apparel and retail sector clashing. Even the U.S. cotton growers, by siding with Auggie, do themselves a disfavor, because by 2007 China was purchasing more than twice as much U.S. cotton then the US textile industry was.

    It was also interesting how when something is denied free trade, such as cotton imports into the U.S., it spurs the growth of something else that not necessarily benefits the U.S. For example, when cotton imports where limited, the U.S.’s trading partners upgraded their production to manufacture synthetics, eventually leading to MFA. Quotas and restrictions also encourage low-end producers to become high-end producers that compete with the U.S. As a result, high-end clothing production has shifted abroad.

    I think the author makes a great point to the reader (which backs up what we have learned in class) that because of technology and mechanization textile jobs are disappearing. Employment in the textile industry is falling not because of China, but because of the increase in productivity. Even China is losing textile jobs. I think a lot of peoples’ anger, including Auggie’s, can sometimes be misplaced on this issue. It is also hard to side with Auggie, when estimates state that in 2002 quotas cost $174,825 per job saved. Is it really worth all the protection?

  6. I found part 3 to be controversial and interesting. The title for the part of the book, “Trouble at the Border” leads way to the fact that imports from China, as well as other countries mentioned in chapter 9, were restricted for some time. Chapter 9 goes into more detail about the restrictions that had been in place on Chinese apparel imports from 2007-2009. On one hand, the restrictions were great for American workers looking to save their jobs. On the other hand, however, the consumers were more excited by the lift of the restrictions, as the lift brought less expensive clothes to the retail market. The controversy is intertwined with the retail market. While American apparel manufacturers would rather keep their jobs, the American retail market would rather pay less for the manufacturing of the garments they sell. Unfortunately, it is not just the jobs and workers in the U.S. apparel industry that suffer. The textile industry is seeing a decrease in jobs with the increase of technology. While quotas and tariffs are no help to the U.S. textile market, they do help to keep China from dominating the apparel market. The discontinuance of tariffs and quotas would absolutely be a problem, as the already limited competition that China has would no longer exist. As stated in Chapter 12, this problem is not new. History shows that the Chinese have previously dominated the market. The problem today is that those who can stop the monopoly of China in the textile and apparel markets fluctuate between imposing the tariffs and quotas, and the discontinuance. Another problem would be that it is not just the U.S. that suffers if the tariffs and quotas are discontinued. While the U.S. retail market would greatly benefit from the drop in cost, there are other countries, as well as within the U.S. that would see a significant drop in employment in the textile manufacturing and apparel manufacturing sectors. How does the U.S. decide which is the better deal to take: continue or discontinue the tariffs and quotas?

    1. another point for your consideration: lift import restriction isn’t just benefit the US consumer. It also creates more favorable trade enviroment for those export-oriented industries.

  7. I found part three of this book to be one of the most relevant and interesting parts of the book that we have read thus far. The part that stuck out to me the most was the discussion of job growth and the factors of industrialization and globalization. I feel like the United States has always strived to be as technically advanced as possible, thinking that advancement will help us continue to prosper. It’s ironic that the very technological advancement that we pride ourselves on is the very reason why there is such a loss of jobs within the US textile and apparel production market. The book explained it best when it said that “while employment is falling, production is steady or even rising.” Meaning that the rising production, which in theory is what we aspire to obtain, is actually hurting us because that rising production is only due to technological advances in machinery, which is in turn taking away many jobs of manufacturing workers within the United States. Especially now during the presidential election, I feel like many people choose to believe that a great deal of the reason why there have been so many job losses within the United States is because of globalization. Without thinking in depth about the issue, you could argue that this is true. But the book helped me understand that even if the United States was protected by foreign production, we would then have rivalry between companies within the United States, and any company that didn’t choose to become more technologically advanced and cut workers while placing more computerized machinery to make the product, would soon loose its dominance within the T&A industry in the US. Another new fact that I learned concerned China and their job decline. I did not realize that China was actually in a job decline within the T&A industry as well and that compared to the North & South Carolina within the United States, their job loss has been way more severe and rapid. I feel that many Americans think of China as the reason for so many job losses due to globalization, while China is dealing with the same repercussions of advanced technology as we are.

  8. After reading part III of this book, I feel as though I have learned more about our T&A economy through different years. Through out this section it explains both sides of the T&A spectrum of being for international trade or trying to keep more in the US. As I was reading about both sides, it is hard for me to pick a clear cut side on who is right or wrong because there are negatives and positives to both of them. The more I read, the more I learned about all of the different tactics that were used to try and control quotas and tariffs for other countries. The one section that I did enjoy reading about is how jobs may be ending in the US but other jobs are also starting. The book talks about how there are new positions and groups in companies that were not there a decade ago but because of new technology everyday, there are needs for new positions. Another thing I enjoyed reading was how the US may not be doing the regular T-shirt on a daily basis, but they are starting to work on “fabrics of the future”. Knowing that people are able to make fabric that could stop bleeding or transmit information to doctors is something that we should also be prided on. In the last section of the book, It was put together on how powerful politics is, and how on every aspect of what they are for can make a difference on who can get elected. Especially with this being the election year, this really shows how if you take a little extra time, as Obama did, then things can turn out in your favor. There was a lot of good information in this section that was useful in understand economics in our T&A industry.

  9. In the Travels of a T-Shirt part three, chapters nine to ten, I found it interesting to read about Auggie Tantillo who was the executive director of the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition (AMTAC) advocacy group that is all about trying to preserve jobs in the United States textile and apparel industries. I was surprised while reading just how bad this sector of our economy really had become and the numbers in the statistics shown throughout the chapter. Seeing the clothing production numbers go from fifty percent produced domestically in 1991 to ninety-five percent being produced overseas in 2007 was a shock to me. Even though Auggie can see a release in job news every month with declines and bad news he continues his fight against cheaper imports into the U.S markets because he knows there would be even fewer jobs if he didn’t keep trying. I admire the determination Auggie holds himself to in order to keep a U.S textile mill a few more years to keep a community intact, and a family fed and provided for. The opposing side to Auggie and his efforts to keep cheap textiles out of the U.S is a woman named Julia Hughes. I found her platform on the issue interesting how she believes the entrance of cheap T-shirts should be allowed and may the best T-shirt win! Economist join Julia on this platform believing that free trade should be in motion and without all of the rules the government attempts to attach to them. With all of the rules incorporated with free trade Julia feels the importers take one look and walk away due to the complexity. Auggie sees the complications in the rules behind free trade as a result from exceptions made for Julia in the first place. It is hard to see people like Auggie struggle and diminish slowly in attempts to save U.S textile Mills, however when it comes to what is best for our economy as a whole and the global world we live in today, Julia’s views on imports seem to win. Reading further into part three I found it interested just how large the role politics plays in the textile industry and rights of trade. The size of the industry, the U.S textile geographic concentration, and concern for effects of trade with China on smaller American communities are all factors contributing to the political influences. I found it interesting to know the American Apparel Manufacturers Association (AAMA) made a break from Auggie in 1990 and merged with the American Footwear Association to become the American Association of Footwear and Apparel (AAFA) to support imports into the U.S textile industry. Associations came together to make one voice from the retailers and importers, developing countries, and family businesses caused the rich countries to abandon MFA and attempt to vanish trade quotas. I was interested to read about the differences between the general public and economist views on trade. Reading that economists focus more on national wealth and income or “global welfare” verses the public being nervous about international trade even knowing about the positive effects on the economy gave me a better understanding about the conflict we face in the textile industry. Even though there are differences in views from society and economist it comes back to the influence of politics in the matter. In chapter twelve it was interesting to read how Obama reassured the NCTO that they had his support and he was aware of the help the industry needed. Just like Regan, Nixon, and Carter in past years providing their attention to the issues in this industry, Obama made sure his presence and actions involved in aiding the industry were available when needed. I am looking forward to seeing how the book will conclude.

  10. Part three of travels of a T-shirt went more in depth on a topic that I had learned about in another class a few years back. However, I did learn some new and shocking things. It was interesting to learn the Bill Clinton was the most free trade friendly president in the U.S because I was unaware of this. I found it upsetting that the United States kept a tight quota system in place with high tariffs that prevented the developing countries from becoming prosperous. All countries deserve the right to become prosperous. This is selfish of the U.S considering they earn more tariff revenue from poor developing countries than they do from prosperous ones.
    Even though the United States does not have a big textile and apparel manufacturing sector anymore and factories in places like North Carolina are closing, Americans still have the ability to get jobs elsewhere, in other industries. In poor developing countries the people making the textiles and apparel do not have any other choice. Manufacturing T&A are their only means of income.
    It is amazing that the United States exported nearly 7 billion pounds of used clothing to the rest of the world between 1990 and 2003. It is even more amazing that certain countries adore this used clothing. However, it is sad that even when this used clothing is sent to places such as Africa, most people cannot even afford the price of the used clothing. This industry of sending our used clothing that does not fit in second hand stores to poor countries has become very controversial.

  11. I found part three interesting to read because it put a lot of things I had been curious about into perspective. For example, I knew that there was a lot of conflict between groups that supported free trade and clothing imports from places like China, and I also knew that there were people who saw these imports as a negative contributor to the US economy. I did not, however, know the detailed opinions of each group or “army” as Rivoli calls it. I did not realize how much of a role politics played and how these opposing groups of people and organizations actually debate their opinion in Washington DC.

    My favorite part of this section was reading about Auggie Tantillo’s story and how he is so determined and motivated to stand by his opinion. He firmly believes that there should not be Chinese textile imports, because it will take away jobs in the US; already half of the jobs in the industry were lost between 2000 and 2007. This argument makes it very tempting to agree with Auggie and completely oppose trade agreements and organizations. His opponent Hughes believes in free trade agreements and the importation of T&A goods into the US from other countries, which can ultimately benefit both our economy and that of the country exporting the goods. The author discusses the complications of many of these agreements, and as we have talked about in class, there are winners and losers in each situation, and often unintended consequences, as Rivoli mentions in chapter 11.

    Before reading chapter 10 I knew that the government and politics played a huge role in the T&A industry, but reading made it even more clear how large this role really is. Every president has had to deal with trade agreements, and decisions about imports. Page 159 says, “For some presidents, free trade was a foreign policy choice, designed to keep war at bay. For others, it was a clear case of the best economic policy. For yet others, a free trade posture was a matter of moral consistency”, explaining how this has always been an issue no matter what kind of choice it was considered to be. It was eye opening to read about how past presidents such as Kennedy and Nixon dealt with this situation.

    I also liked reading about more recent political changes and changes in the T&A industry in chapter 12 because I realized how important those things really are to my life and future career. I would like to have a job in the industry one day and it is comforting to know how supportive President Obama was of the industry and how he kept his promises. This whole section taught me a lot and I hope to learn more from the final section of the book.

  12. I found part III to be the most interesting so far. I especially enjoyed reading the chapter on products returning from overseas to America. I never realized how big of an issue it is for some Americans to accept the importation of products. “Losers in the U.S. textile and apparel industries are not going gracefully, especially not when losing to China” (page 143). So after reading that, I better understood the story of Auggie Tantillo. I found it amazing that apparel from China could have that big of an impact on someone that they avoid the clothing section in Wal-Mart completely. It is understandable though, since China has become a growing threat to jobs in the textile and apparel industry in America.

    After reading the section, A Taste of the (Crazy) Rules in 2008, it was easier for me to relate to the class. It helped me understand NAFTA/CAFTA better. In order to have duty-free access to the U.S. market, the product must meet the yarn- or fabric-forward test and be produced in a membering country. I find it interesting that it is not only cheaper, but easier to just pay the tariff. I really liked that I was able to relate part III to class lectures and now feel like I have a better understanding after reading real life situations. I look forward to finishing up the rest of the book.

  13. I enjoyed reading Part III: Trouble at the Border because it explained more in detail what goes on in the textile and apparel industry in relation to politics. What we usually see is just what is on the surface, but this part told a more candid account of how the system really works. This part really expanded on our discussions about China and the United States, and made it clear that the issues with China and trade really are an issue for our textile and apparel industry. In Chapter 10, I really like reading Auggie’s fight to keep the textile industry in the US. He is very determined in his mission and wants to make sure jobs stay in our economy rather than be outsourced to China. I also like how this point was brought full circle in Chapter 12 about President Obama. In 2008 he really devoted many resources to the textile communities in North Carolina, creating and sustaining jobs there even after the election. Although I am not Obama’s biggest fan, I am pleased to see that he recognizes how important the textile industry is to the US economy and understands the types of changes that need to be made to keep it from becoming nonexistent. It is such a shame that politics play such a big role in the industry and it seems that politicians don’t really care what is happening to it, as long as they get elected. But what Obama showed is that so much of the industry is being outsourced and hurting American jobs, but with changes like the ones in North Carolina we can save our textile industry and keep the jobs here in America.

  14. It’s really refreshing to read about someone who cares so whole-heartedly about the American T&A industry. The fact that Auggie Tantillo (executive director of the AMTAC) can’t even walk by clothing in Wal-Mart without getting nauseous is admirable because he wants change more than anything and a bright future for America’s T&A industry. I don’t think that a lot of people understand that when we import clothing made in China, we are giving up many jobs that could change many American’s worlds, “for the 20 year period ending in 2007, U.S. manufacturing employment fell by approximately 20 percent” (172). I was surprised to read that although the large amount of jobs we are giving China in the T&A industry, they are still losing textile jobs more rapidly than ever. I would never have thought that.

    Another portion of part III that really stuck out to me was the political side. Especially since we just had our Presidential election last night, it is very relevant. I was happy to read that Obama cared about the American T&A industry and it makes me a lot less apprehensive about graduating and entering the industry. I was unaware of Obama’s attitude towards our industry and I was especially happy to read “I look forward to a productive working relationship with your industry” (206). I look forward to reading part IV.

  15. I enjoyed reading the third part of “The Travels of a T-Shirt in the global economy” the most because it brought together two very important topics we are learning about in class right now: textiles and politics. And because we just recently had an election last night where Obama was re-elected for a second term, this section gave me more insight on the global apparel trade sector as a whole and how it applies to politics.

    One thing I learned early on in Chapter 10 was that, “The US textile industry felt the first serious threat from imports immediately after WWII, and foreign competition since that time has been growing steadily and some times exponentially.” I found this to be interesting because it shows that imports and overseas jobs have been a difficult thing for the US to overcome for some years now in the T&A field. It was also interesting to learn that Bill Clinton was the most free trade friendly of all presidents, and that currently President Obama is very supportive of the U.S. T&A sectors.

    I have to agree with Julia Hughes stand on apparel imports and exports rather than Auggie Tantillo’s because Julia made a very good point about how free trade benefits both parties: it could benefit the US for having that import and it will benefit the other country for using an export. It would be easy for myself to agree with Auggie Tantillo’s point of view on this topic because he shows how almost half of the apparel and textile jobs have been lost to China over the last few years, but we cannot completely blame China on our loss of jobs.

  16. This section of the book has been my favorite so far because it addressed how textiles are impacted by politics and vice versa. It was really interesting to read about the American Manufacturing Trade Auction Coalition, or AMTAC. It was really informative and I learned they are trying to preserving manufacturing jobs in the U.S. textile and apparel industries.

    It was astonishing to read that the U.S. textile and apparel I also learned about the factors that explain the dominance of politics in trade. These factors include the size of the manufacturing base, the strength of industry alliances and business relationships, and the fact that Americans are nervous about trade.

    The book talked about how politicians sometimes use the textile and apparel industry to get more votes; I really enjoyed reading about how President Obama promised to help the domestic industry by devoting resources to them. I like how a view other than just Auggie’s was shown; Julia Hughes argues that trade benefits both parties involved.

  17. The introduction to part III “Trouble at the Border” discusses the intensity of China’s role in the apparel industry. The first chapter starts out with a man Auggie Tantillo who is actively against outsourcing for apparel from china. Auggie is specifically fighting to keep textile and apparel jobs within the United States in hopes that China does not ruin the textile and apparel manufacturing industry. Auggie’s view on this is that if we bring textile manufacturing back to America it will bring more jobs back to the citizens here. Auggie worries that China is taking all of the jobs and that there is not enough for Americans. Thought his point is valid I agree more with Julia Hugh who is the president of the US Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel. Julia believes that trying to bring textile and apparel manufacturing back to America isn’t beneficial. As a country we would lose more profit than we would gain due to the fact that producing domestically is more expensive than outsourcing.
    In chapter ten it discusses the past presidents and how politics played a huge role in the textile and apparel industry. The current problems we are facing were a predominant part of the presidents speeches in previous years. “Between 1976 and 1979 , textile and apparel imports into the United States had increased by nearly 50 percent. In exchange for Thurmond’s support, Reagan promised, if elected, to put a stop to it.” I found this very interesting especially because of the recent election. Today the textile industry isn’t as much of a concern as it was before. As a textile student, knowing that this used to be a concern and is no longer bothers me.
    In chapter eleven a line in particular stuck out to me. “The tariffs and quotas that allegedly protect the U.S. apparel industry cannot affect what today barely exists. In 2007, 95 percent of apparel purchased by U.S. consumers was imported…” I found this quote to be shocking. I was aware that we imported a lot of apparel due to the efficiency and lower cost of other countries, but I was unaware that it was to this great extent. Having 95 percent of what our citizens consume is ridiculous and I am shocked that it is to this extent.
    Overall, I was thoroughly intrigued by part III. Though the result of all of these things is harmful to our country, it is interesting to learn about real life examples to further explain what we are learning in class.

  18. Before reading Part III of The Travels of a T-Shirt I did not realize that American job loss relating to the Textile Industry was more a result of technological advancement than a result of competition in China. Initially I had solely attributed the plunge of employment within the American Textile Industry to the cheap labor in China however, this does not seem to be the case. It was interesting to learn that while employment within the U.S. textile industry fell by more than half between 1990 and 2007, that production output remained relatively steady. This information when combined with the fact that in 2007 U.S textile workers produced about 60% more goods per hour then they had in 1990, really showed me the effects of technological progress and mechanization on the industry and further validated its large attribution to job loss within the U.S. textile industry. This also helped me to understand the rationalization behind a firm choosing to replace more and more people with machines, it is now something necessary to industry survival. The significant job loss occurring within the Chinese textile sector is something I was surprised to see, but the affect of technology on the industry helps to justify this phenomenon. Textile jobs really are “just going period”.
    Part III of this book also made me aware of the abundance of regulations that exist and how complex they really are, especially with the book’s introduction of the 543 page tariff schedule. It was interesting to learn that through limiting manufacturers’ access to foreign fabrics, trade restrictions were making it more and not less difficult to keep production in America. It was also interesting how each organization is really their own worst enemy, and that the import barriers they support create higher cost for one another at each stage of production. All of these provisions they create in order to help domestic firms, in turn just inhibits America’s ability to be competitive across the production complex, proving to undermine the efforts rather than help them.
    Through the book’s introduction of the many complex trade barriers, I was able to become aware of how desperate other nations are to penetrate the American market. The “great quota hustle” and the part on false “made in” labeling were the two examples which really brought this to my attention, and made me realize the great lengths producers go through just to get their products into the U.S. This portion of the book taught me about the major role politics play in both the race to the bottom, and in globalization.
    This section also made me realize that globalization isn’t as damaging as I had thought, because while many manufacturing jobs are being depleted, it has opened up opportunities for people to hold jobs which were not previously available before.

  19. I found that the third part of Travels of a T-shirt helped me realize that politics play a huge role on free trade and clothing imports from other developing countries. Such politic topics include negative thoughts on how imports from developing countries, such as China, are not a great contributor to the United States economy.
    It was interesting to read Auggie Tantillo’s take on free trade. Within the first chapter of part three, Auggie described his disgust with Wal-Mart clothing because he wants change for the American textile and apparel industry. His main mission is to keep the jobs created within the United States by the textile and apparel industry and not let those jobs be shipped over to other countries for them to be fulfilled.
    A section of part three that actually surprised me was the subject on how Obama created resources within America in order to keep jobs within the textile industry. Though I have not very much agreed with Obama’s actions in the past, I hope that he continues to try and save the United State’s textile and apparel industries’ jobs.

    1. Obama’s objecive is to create jobs in the us, but it does not necessarily means jobs in the us textile and appare industry. This is the essence of the political debate in part III.

  20. Part 3 of the T-shirt book linked the loss of jobs to the increase in technology. The book mentions that as production is rising so is the unemployment rate in the United States. Our advanced technology is something we pride ourselves on as a country, yet it is taking away our jobs. As globalization becomes a worldwide phenomenon the loss of jobs due to technological production are becoming an issue. Although globalization is taking away jobs, the textile and apparel industry is also relying more on technology. After reading I realized that even without overseas competition in the industry, companies who did not use technology would be less successful.

  21. Part III of the T-shirt book appealed to me more than the other parts in the book. This section focused on the main problem many of us are interested about and that is what kinds of jobs there are in the T&A Industry and the on-going effort to provide more jobs in this specific industry. I enjoyed reading about Auggie Tantillo, the executive firector of the AMTAC, and joined this group to preserve manufacturing jobs in the U.S. T&A Industries. As stated in the text, “Between 2000 and 2007, the U.S. textile and apparel industries lost more than one-half of their remaining jobs,” and this observation really stood out to me. Although this is true and devastating for the U.S., it is difficult for us to come up with the skills and money to bring more jobs in the U.S. T&A Industry. It is not an easy task, but overtime I think it can gradually get better with enough support. Which leads me later on in my post about how politics are discussed and related to the T&A Industry in the U.S.

    Continuing on the issue briefly discussed about how it will be too late to save our T&A Industry, we are waiting too long to stop China from taking over. It really made sense to me when the text explained how when the Chinese quotas were increased in 2009, it was to be the last nail for the U.S. industry because the more China is exporting products to the U.S., the more it waves cheap imports to be received in our country. If we are importing more than we are exporting, our workers in the T&A industry are losing jobs or not able to get a job because China is taking over their opportunity.

    A question that became relevant to me in the reading was, “What have been the effects of the dominance of politics over markets in world trade of apparel (171)?” Its discussed in the book that Americans have not had a positive view in general of the issue of international trade. I found it very interesting how McCain had a more realistic view on the problem in America with a decrease in manufacturing jobs and how they are not coming back any time soon. This was a different approach than what Clinton and Obama went with during the 2008 Democratic nomination. I enjoyed reading about this past issue, especially with the Presidential election recently occurring. Like most politicians, Clinton and Obama both promised to “save jobs” in this industry if elected. But inevitably, it was later figured out that textile jobs are going, no matter with or without protection of imports. Technology is only becoming more beneficial and high-tech and labor productivity is also increasing. It is a very complex task to achieve and who knows when textile jobs will be back on track in the U.S.

    I found it extremely intriguing that Obama wore American-made suits throughout his first campaign. He even referred to a North Carolina-based yarn spinning company called Carolina Mills to represent the U.S. T&A Industry. Obama wants to see a positive change in this industry in a positive way to increase textile jobs in America, rather than what McCain tried to do was to support tax breaks and trade deals for companies that ship jobs overseas. I found this to be that it is not American of John McCain to sell out the Carolina Mills company at the time with Washington to have workers jobs at the company outsourced to Asia. Those workers must have been devastated and with Obama’s different approach to the situation was professional and optimistic of what the industry had looked forward to. He wanted to develop a relationship with the NCTO. These certain issues discussed in Part III were fascinating to me and I enjoyed reading about topics that stood out to me as relevant and important to be informed with.

  22. In the third part of the book I really enjoyed reading about all the different groups and organizations that are in the mists of protecting the United States apparel and textile industries. I think it is really interesting on how influential theses groups are in politics. Rivoli gives many examples on how past presidents have made deals with the industries, in particular the textile industry, and this has left many of them forever “indebted to the textile industry.” The points he makes about this are extremely alarming, in my opinion, because I feel like they are making so many promises they can’t keep just to secure a vote. These promises may or may not be in the best interest of the US consumers or other industries, and the fact that the presidents will just automatically agree to just about anything. What I also found extremely alarming was how for all money and time that was spent protecting imports from places like Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Korea just 60% would have cost the consumers of the US $43,945 per textile job saved. Also protecting the textile and apparel industries have a big price to pay at $88,000 per year! This just sounds absurd to me. I doubt most of these workers even make that in a year! It was also pointed out that a lot of the jobs are gone not only to increased imports and low cost competitors but because of technological advances. I feel like all the money saved on protecting the industry, the money should be invested in the industry, invest in technology and advances. Like Rivoli points out, we should just let everyone compete equally and “let the best t-shirt win.” Also, Rivoli talks about how many industries he spoke with would rather have long term industry relationships with suppliers rather that globe trotting all over and going where the quota demands are. I agree with this. I think the US should be thinking long term, rather than protecting themselves today. We are borrowing ourselves into a whole we may never be able to pay off.

  23. Part part III of The Travels of a T-shirt in the Global Economy was a very interesting read. I really liked the passion Auggie Tantillo had for the AMTAC and wanting to keep jobs in the manufacturing and textile industries. As much as I respect Auggie for wanting to do so, there is a reason we have the labor done in factories in other countries, like China. They do the labor for a lot cheaper then American workers, and do not require as much training as US workers. Since China does the manufacturing labor for so cheap, we make machines and airplanes and sell them to China in return. Auggie clearly did not feel this way though and had an army ready to fight for his beliefs.
    Auggie even wanted President Reagan to put a stop to textile and apparel imports into the United States. Between 1976 and 1979 textile and apparel imports into the US had increased by nearly 50%. Auggie was eventually disappointed when he found out how politics really worked. Reagan did not end up putting a stop to this. It is interesting how politics and the President had so much effect on the textile industry and it is not really like that anymore.
    One thing about the the Presidents effecting what happens with manufacturing being done overseas and trading that I liked in this section is how it discusses our current President. President Obama donated resources to North Carolina and he only wore suits made in America throughout his campaign. Thanks to Obama, North Caroline allowed 60,000 jobs in the textile and apparel industry. It is very difficult these days to find work in the textile industry due to the competition with China.

  24. I was already aware that many of the jobs in the US have been outsourced to China, but after reading part 3 of the book, it really made the reality so much more clear. It seems that at some point all of the manufacturing jobs in America will go to China. It was great to read about people like Auggie who are still so passionate and trying to fight to keep the jobs in America. It is good to see that restrictions have been placed on Chinese apparel imports. There seems to be controversy in the industry, because the retail market likes the cheap clothing they are able to get from China, but the manufacturing sector in the US does not want to lose jobs.

    Jobs in the industry are also declining due to the increase of technology. I was very surprised to see that China is also having job decline in the t&a industry. I was also surprised to see that tariffs and quotas are negatively impacting the US t&a sector, because usually these things are seen as a protection. However they are still necessary because these tariffs and quotas are putting restrictions on China and keeping them from completely dominating the industry.

    I enjoyed part three of travels of a t-shirt, and I was very happy to read that President Obama cares about and wants to protect the T&A industry.

  25. I found part III of travels of a t-shirt to be very interesting and informative. There were a lot of important topics that were discused in this part that I though were very appropriate for the fact that we are in an election season. A part of this section that I found to be interesting was how the book discussed the issues within the textile and apparel industry that we might not hear or see.

    In the Textile and Apparel industry there are a lot of people who are losing their jobs because their companies moving the factories and production over to china. One of these workers was Auggie and he wanted to do something about it and bring jobs back to the United States. Auggie explained his the job loss pattern would continue until something is done which is just what he intends to do. Though Auggie’s cause is really great I can see how it isn’t that feasible. Julia Huges arguments were very valid about bringing jibs back to the US, the US would lose more money then they would gain.

    Another part of the book discussed the politics which really pertained to this point in out lives because of the big election that just happened. It discussed how politicians will help people like Auggie for a vote. There was also a discussion about Obamas support of the Apparel industry in 2008. I found this section of the book very interesting and found a lot of connections t what we have learned in class. For example how their are winners and losers in the industry, the connection to class and politics made it very relatable and an interesting read.

  26. I really enjoyed reading Part III of “The Travel’s of a T-shirt” book. These chapters were interesting to me because they discussed America a lot and related some of the things we have already learned in class. Although we know that a lot of products are made abroad it is eye opening to know that in 2007, 95 percent of shirts purchased in the U.S. were made overseas. Certain things stuck out to me while reading such as the fact that in 2003 many organizations came together to save American jobs by demanding that restrictions be placed on the amount of Chinese clothing that can be imported. This is an issue that we have been discussing in class throughout the whole semester. The book pointed out that rules concerning apparel imports have been constantly changing and most cotton t-shirts that don’t make the requirements for special treatment are charged an import tariff of 16.5 percent. Chart 9.3 puts into perspective the 2008 U.S. import limits on textiles and apparel from China.

    It is fascinating to see how much has changed because of WWII. Since the end of WWII, every U.S. president has publicly supported the doctrine of free trade. The figures and numbers presented in the book from a small change in the industry were huge. Because of the VER, which limited imports from Japan, “between 1956 and 1961, imports of cotton goods from Hong Kong rose by nearly 700 percent”. People such as JF Kennedy worked to help the U.S. textile industry because of these changes.

    The technological advances we have seen throughout the years have clearly changed the way things were. As the book says and we have talked about in class, “as employment in the textile industry of the U.S. is going down, the production is staying steady or even rising”. This is because of technology and the constant change in the industry. The bad side of technology is that it continues to replace humans and causes job losses. Rivoli points out that although this is a bad thing, the destruction of old jobs creates new ones. Some new jobs for example include slowing down the death of the American cloth industry and jobs needed to control the flow of the rising imports of t-shirts.

    When deciding whether the quotas should have been lifted, Rivoli points out that there would be about 30 million job losses world-wide is they were lifted because China would take over all of its competition. In 2005 the quotas were lifted shortly and there were restrictions made once again in the same year. Lastly, I enjoyed how Rivoli told the story of what launched the Industrial Revolution, which started the growth of cotton in America. It is weird to think we wouldn’t have what we do today if it wasn’t for the Englanders and their ideas.

  27. As I read this portion of the book, I found it to be a section that found more interest in than other portions of the book. I felt as though I related to this section more as the author spoke about how jobs in the textile industry have changed over the years. I always thought that jobs within this industry moved to China mostly due to cheaper labor costs. I didn’t take into consideration that technology improvements also have much to do with the rate of work as well as the rate in which jobs would change due to these improvements. I felt as though I read into this section more especially since the election was taking place at the same time. With all the discussion about jobs, unemployment and bringing more work back to our country, it was interesting get a better understanding of how all that discussion was relative to the field of work which I hope to be apart of, and thus will have an effect on me.

    Also, I had always been a bit confused about different regulations on tariffs between each of the countries who exchange with each other. This section helped me understand that globalization isn’t as awful as I originally thought it was. I now have a better understanding that globalization doesn’t always damage certain countries, and that it is has helped keep various jobs as well.

  28. i thought that part III of The Travels of a T-Shirt has been the most relevant to our class so far. This section talks about foreign policies and how the T&A industry in the United States has been struggling to compete for jobs. China has continually beat out US T&A products because they can offer the same products for less money. It was interesting to get a new perspective on the trade policies that we have learned in class. It was also helpful to fully understand them by putting them into real life situations. It was good to hear that there are still some people out there fighting for the US T&A industry, like Auggie. I also like how politics had a role in this part considering we just had our elections. It was good to read that the president chose to side with the US T&A industry instead of keeps foreign relations tidy.
    This part really made me realize how much the US T&A industry is losing in the battle. In the global world the US will survive in other industries, but since apparel produced in America is more expensive it will always lose out to the cheaper version. China has their own struggles, like the loss of jobs. By leading in the T&A industry it has helped out their economy. The US is more technology based which makes them more likely to be able to produce more capital intensive products. I do not believe that the quota should have been lifted because China will take over the whole industry and no other country would stand a chance.

  29. In Part III of Travels of a T-shirt I really enjoyed the two different perspectives that were given of the textile industry and how apparel imports into the U.S. effects both individuals differently. In the case of Auggie Tantillo, he sees the ever-growing importing of textiles from China into the U.S. textile market as a negative. As the executive director of the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition Auggie is constantly fighting an uphill battle to keep textile manufacturing and other jobs in the T&A industry domestic. The statistic “In 1991, more than half of Americans’ clothing was produced domestically, but in 2007, 95 percent of the 20 billion garments Americans purchased were produced overseas.” mentioned in Chapter 9 was unsettling to hear as a person who will be soon graduating and seeking a job in the U.S. textile and apparel industry. I give a lot of credit to Auggie for continuing to fight against China and trying to improve the U.S. T&A industry even though jobs are constantly getting lost to overseas. After reading Auggie’s story it was interesting to read insight into someone who advocates for the opposite like Julia Hughes. While I respect Julia’s opinion I have to disagree with her belief that the Chinese are the “underdogs”. The U.S. T&A industry has lost a dramatic amount of business & jobs to the Chinese because we are unable to compete with them, making us the underdogs.

  30. I found Part III of The Travels of a T-shirt in the Global Economy by Pietra Rivoli to be both informative as well as relatable. I found it inspiring that one man; Auggie Tantillo has dedicated his life to making a change in the United States textile and Apparel Market. With countless jobs already lost due to companies choosing to manufacture textile and apparel products overseas, it is ambitious to say the least that this man would fight to bring those jobs back to the United States. Although Auggie has gone against the odds in his perpetual quest to move manufacturing to the United States, he has done so with passion and commitment and I believe that is a characteristic to me admired. His motive in all of this is that he believes with good reason that China will inevitably ruin the United States textile and apparel manufacturing industry. I definitely agree with many of the points made about Auggie’s opinion, but I also feel that Julia Hugh’s views on the topic are more practical. As a representative of the US association importers of textiles and apparel, her belief is that it is most beneficial for the United States to continue importing from China because they have the capacity that we require at the most cost efficient to us. I found both sides to be really informative and I think it is important for anyone going into the textile and apparel fields to understand what is going on in the global sector currently.

  31. It was really interesting to see what proponents of the American textiles and apparel industry were doing to combat China’s textile and apparel industry. Many people complain about textile and apparel production moving overseas, but it is rare to see anything being done about it. Auggie is so passionate about this cause and is doing whatever he can to bring production back to America. This is an inspiration to those who wish to see textile and apparel production back in America.

    I also found the text’s discussion of NAFTA and CAFTA a helpful supplement to what we have been studying in class. These agreements are fascinating to me for a number of reasons. One of those reasons is all of the loopholes that, of course, textile and apparel manufacturers find. For example, “if the apparel is manufactured in Nicaragua and made of cotton or manmade fabrics (but not wool), a limited amount of apparel may enter the United States freely even though it contains yarn and fabric from outside the region.” What is considered a “limited amount”? Why are only cotton and manmade fabrics allowed by this rule?

    I chuckled to myself as I read that “perhaps the most important reward for Pakistan’s solidarity with the United States would be a loosening of the restrictions limiting textile and apparel imports into the United States.” While this is certainly important, I found it comical that the author felt that in the aftermath of 9/11, “world leaders…had more vital matters to discuss.” While the textile and apparel industry is very important to many people, I would venture to say that the vast majority of Americans were more concerned with other things post-9/11.

  32. Good comment and several excellent pionts. In your first paragrah, you asked why “many people complain about T&A production moving overseas, but you see rare actions.” The question is, nationwide, “how many” Americans still complain about T&A not made in the USA? Even the apparel industry itself no longer did (like members of AAFA) right? Our third case study is about one “action” in histroy with the purpose of promoting T&A made in USA. I am sure you will learn a lot from it.

    I am also glad to hear you find the class discusson help you better understand the book reading. This is how the class is designed. In my view, tariff is no longer a key issue to the US T&A industry,but rules of origin does.

    As to your last point, I would say our textile and apparel field touches critical global issues far beyond fiber, yarn, fabrics and fashion. We wear global economy, politics and regulations everyday.

  33. Reading part 3 really helped me understand all the important roles that go into importing and exporting textiles and apparel. The AMTAC is an advocacy group dedicated to preserving manufacturing jobs in the US T&A industries. The ATMI used to be the voice of the T&A industry but now its gone due to people becoming realists rather than idealist. Auggie is trying to block or slow the waves of cheap clothing imports flowing into US markets. But the US producers of yarn, fabric, and apparel have no hope of competing with China due to them having less restrictions than the US. When you look at Auggie’s view point vs Julia’s the difference has to do with the economy. Julia believes that letting China and America compete is a good thing and the best T-Shirt should win because she is coming from an economists view point. With having 95% of apparel being imported free trade ideas and agreements have been a major focus. High tariffs levied on apparel mostly protect Americas customers and its friends but politics affect the global economy and T&A trade. Quotas and restrictions also encourage low-end producers to become high-end producers that compete with the Us as a result, high end clothing productions are forced abroad. Having restrictions make clothes more expensive so when restrictions were lifted less expensive clothing became available to the consumers. The American apparel markets want to keep their jobs so they do not care if the clothing to more expensive. But the American retail markets want cheaper clothing so they rather have trade restrictions lifted. This is where the manufacturing end of textiles and apparel clash with the retail end. By lifting import restrictions a better trade environment would be established by helping the export industry. The main thing I really enjoyed in this reading was finding out that Obama wants and is helping the industry unlike pervious presidents who would make empty promises just to obtain votes. It is great that he is helping the domestic industry and forming new free trade policies.

  34. The third part of the T-Shirt book, really brought some intriguing notions to mind. It was interesting to see how truly different the US Apparel & Textile Industry is compared to its beginnings. It was also fascinating to read a first hand account on somebody trying to take action about the continual growth of the industry overseas, trying to preserve some of the jobs here in America.

    Auggie, along with the American Manufacturing Trade Auction Coalition (AMTAC), is trying to block or decrease the waves of cheap clothing imports into the United States. The AMTAC is an advocacy group dedicated to preserving manufacturing jobs in the US Textile & Apparel industry. Between the years of 2000 and 2007, the US lost more than half of their jobs to overseas competitors. The American Textile Manufacture Institute (ATMI) used to be the voice of the industry for half a century, however it is now gone due to people of Washington becoming realists as opposed to idealists.

    Although the US has suffered a great loss in jobs, it is not the only country suffering. There has been a loss of jobs globally due to the rapid advances in both technology and labor productivity. Restrictions on one product, allow for benefits towards one part of the industry while simultaneously hurting the other.

    Auggie Tantillo, fighting to keep jobs in the US, faces opposition from Julia Hugh. Hugh is the president of the US Association of Importers of Textile & Apparel. She believes that reshoring would be fruitless. Both the US government and economists alike take Julia’s side, with 95% of apparel being imported from overseas.

    As technology keeps advancing, it should be interesting to see if job loss increases, or if the US will actively try and reshore.

    1. I agree that somehow supporting “made in USA” or restrict imports of “made in China” has been very outdated concepts. Also as you see the role played by technology, “made in USA” does not equal “job in USA”

  35. Part III of The Travels of a T-shirt in the Global Economy really brought to light just how much the U.S. Textile and Apparel Industry has advanced over the years. The statistics throughout chapters 9 through 12 were intriguing and remarkable. Some that stood out to me were that in 2007 95% of shirts purchased in the U.S. were made overseas, imports on cotton good from Hong Kong rose about 700% between the late 1950s and early 1960s, and by 2007 China was purchasing more than twice the amount of cotton from America than the U.S.’s own Textile Industry was.
    China was a large part of this section of the book, as it has been in the previous parts as well. It was interesting to see that although there were times when tariffs and quotas were lifted and then reestablished and imports from overseas to the U.S. were limited, China’s technology has still been one step ahead of ours. If quotas were lifted entirely, it was stated that there would be an estimated 30 million job losses worldwide, resulting from China taking over the competition. It was argued by the author that with the loss of jobs, however, there comes an opportunity for new ones to be created. I, on the other hand, don’t see that being very plausible, simply from looking at how the U.S.’s economy has declines over the past decade and job loss is continually a problem for Americans.
    While the employment rate of the U.S. T&A Industry is decreasing, the productivity and production rates are staying steady. This is due to our technological advances that cause us to produce more with less. Job losses are the result of this, both in the U.S. and China, but because China is more advanced than us, they have the upper hand. Because the U.S. is a developed country and in competition with China and other developed countries, it will be interesting to see if history repeats itself and how the T&A Industry advances along with technology in the future.

    1. one interesting angle to observe the structural change of China’s economy (as the “flying geese pattern” we mentioned today in class) is the area of trade friction. Textile and apparel used to dominate the trade talks between the US and China (even in 2005), but you seldom hear it today. Critical issues deemed by the US nowadays when negotiating with China includes intellectural property right protetion, market access in the service sector, government procurment, standards & technical barriers of trade. Neither does China treat “textile and apparel” as a critical issue any longer. Instead China now is interested in its foreign investment in the US being fairly treated, the restraint on the export of High-tech products to China and collaboration in industries deemed of strategic importance such as clean energy.

  36. The third part of the book brought forth many interesting points. I found it surprising that companies such as Wal-Mart and Target played such big roles in the relationship with the US and Pakistan after the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. The US was Pakistan’s largest customer for exporting textiles and apparel, but sales were restricted because of high tariffs. The factories in Pakistan had a chance of remaining open only if Wal-Mart and Target along with other similar retailers could more freely import cheap cotton clothing, otherwise they would turn to other countries.

  37. (did not mean to post the first part without these added sections)

    I thought it was interesting how hard the US fought to stay in business with Pakistan, instead of leaving their services for another country. Deals were made, although they were in favor of the US’s well-being more than Pakistan’s. In the end however the Bush administration unveiled another aid program which contained no provisions at all on textile trade. The administration seemed to be all for free trade but when it came to perform it seemed they fell short and did not seem to truly care about Pakistan’s well-being.

  38. Two statistics in particular which stood out to me in this section were that “apparel tariffs [in 2007] averaged are 16%, more than 10 times the 1.5% tariff applied to other goods entering the United States” (page 176) and “in 2007, textiles and apparel comprised 5% of the value of US imports, but accounted for 43% of tariffs collected” (page 191). It does make sense that the US would use these trade barriers as a powerful tool to reward friends and allies, but what is the reason for such enormous tariff rates? This is one question I am still puzzled with. I had no idea of the large role the textile and apparel industry plays in world politics. For example, the fact that Pakistan wanted the restrictions limiting textile and apparel imports to the United States to be loosened as a reward for their solidarity after 9/11 is just one example of how powerful this industry truly is. To me, it seems as though the US has been using its power in the T&A industry to manipulate the trade interests of other nations. Part III of Travels of a T-Shirt opened my eyes to the severe impacts the T&A industry can have on a nation, and the fact that there are plenty of “game-changers” the US must look out for in the future.

    1. one perspective could be the “leverage”. Many T&A come from developing countries which did not have a bilateral or regional free trade agreement with the US. Why not have such an agreement? Because they have little to offer to the US in exchange for “lower tariff rate” on T&A. Think about this: why would US reach NAFTA with Canada and Mexcio? Because there are many made in USA goods can be exported to these countries. But how about some African countries? The forces for protectionism is also a issue. T&A in the US is no longer competitive globally, so they are afraid of competition. But things like banking, service sector, they have the global competitivness, so these sectors are not afraid of “reducing trade barriers” becuase this will only make them export more. As we will discuss in the class tomorrow, the commercial interests will decide an industry’s position on trade policy.

  39. The third part of Travels of a T-shirt was very informative; the book in general has not only been inspirational but uplifting as well. Throughout this section there were a lot of important aspects discussed, the one I found to be most beneficial to us were the secret topics. The ones that we do not hear nor see about because they are behind closed doors.
    The primary focus of this section was explain how more and more American jobs are going to China because they are taking over control of the Textile and Apparel Sectors of the world. It is cheaper for things to be produced in China because they have less labor laws affecting the way they do things. Although, I do see some of this to be beneficial to the US; by having China producing more and more textiles we will be saving money as opposed to wasting money by having more people working for longer hours.
    This section of the book also went into greater detail about globalization and how it works, when trying to understand how different countries interact with each other and how tariffs are imposed. This section connected the work we are doing in the classroom to real life scenarios.

  40. Part 3 of the book discussed a lot of what has been talked about in our past few class lectures. Many companies have chosen to do business in china based on many different factors and it has caused a large number of workers to lose their jobs. Auggie is a perfect example of someone who is actually trying to do something about what goes on in the textile manufacturing industry. In class we talked about how politicians have been involved voicing their opinions and how many people have tried many times before to get the rules changed. With it being such a big industry things are always going to change and people are going to be affected by these changes. Although it seems right to protect manufacturing jobs here in America, the author brings up the point that there is a loss of textile jobs globally due to “rapid advances in technology and labor productivity”. Employment in the textile industry is falling not because of China, but because of the increase in productivity. Even China is losing textile jobs. I think a lot of peoples’ anger, including Auggie’s, can sometimes be misplaced on this issue.

    1. This comment connects our class discussions to this section of the T-shirt book. We took many classes to contemplate why U.S. companies continue to source overseas for cheaper labor, rather than paying American workers domestically. This section makes it a little clearer. We must understand that American workers are upset at the loss of jobs, but ultimately technological advances are making an even bigger impact on the development of the textile and apparel industry.

  41. Part III of Travels of a T-shirt dealt with various important issues relating to the Textile and Apparel industry regarding employment and politics. These chapters continue to discuss existing and potential problems with globalization and trade, and it is important to know what these problems are before entering the Textile and Apparel industry. One of the first main problems that we read about involves employment and the loss of jobs due to business being done overseas in China. This led to the development of the American Manufacturing Trade Auction Coalition (AMTAC). This organization works to keep Textile and Apparel manufacturing jobs in the U.S. instead of off-shoring to places such as China. Auggie Tantillo, a man devoted to saving U.S manufacturing jobs alongside the AMTAC, explains how numerous jobs have already been lost to China and that this pattern will continue as the years go on. However, efforts to “re-shore” some of these jobs and bring them back to the United States may end up causing the industry to lose even more money instead of gaining it. The industry continues to evolve on a daily basis, especially with the repercussions of globalization. It would be more ideal to adjust the industries to the changing environment, opposed to trying to re-shore jobs that are already overseas.

    The discussion of politics in this section of the reading was extremely prevalent and goes into detail on how politics affect the Textile and Apparel industry. Being that politics is predominantly the main factor when it comes to the control of trade and how the T&A industry operates, I was interested to see what Rivoli had to say. I found it notably intriguing to read about President Obama and the actions he is taking to help the textile industry. He worked to improve the industry by providing resources to manufacturers in North Carolina. In addition, he made an effort to solely wear suits that were made in the U.S. throughout his presidential campaign. We first saw similar actions during the election of President John F. Kennedy. Although First Lady Jackie Kennedy favored the French designer Givenchy, she made the decision to only wear garments by American designers while in office which certainly affected the industry in a positive way, and increased the desire for American based manufacturing. However, we also see that many policymakers told U.S. manufacturers that they will help them in exchange for their vote, which in my opinion sounds like blackmail. This just goes to show that there are always two sides to every story and politics will never be an entirely trustful industy. Before reading this section, I would have never imagined the amount of politics involved in the textile and apparel industry. It was eye opening to read how much influence they hold over the industry. As we talk about finding solutions for globalization and reducing off-shore production, it made me think of the jobs being lost simply due to the advances in technology. Even if more U.S. manufacturing jobs were saved from globalization and out sourcing to China, there is still going to be job loss from advancing technology. Being that technology is bound to change and develop on a daily basis, it seems that it is inevitable to avoid job loss in the textile and apparel industry.

  42. The beginning of chapter 9 instantly grabbed my attention and stirred a great intrigue within me. The book compares the arrival of t-shirts made in China, with the arrival of people born in China, both trying to enter into the United States. “In both cases, the journey is expensive, risky, and often illegal.” The paragraph goes on to say, “Most of the American South has moved onward and upward from textile production…” and that “Losers in the U.S. textile and apparel industries are not going gracefully, especially not when losing to China”(143). I had no idea the extent opposition to Chinese imports in the textile and apparel industry has been, that is not until I read this section.

    I was introduced to Auggie Tantillo who gets a “bad feeling” when he sees a t-shirt that originated in China. While this is not an uncommon theme that has been presented to us in TMD 433, I didn’t know the extent that some individuals, such as Tantillo, have gone to and continue to go to in their efforts to stop Chinese textile and apparel imports. I quote the book in saying, “When Auggie Tantillo sees a T-shirt from China, he gets a bad feeling in his stomach, but his reflex is fight rather than flight.” However, Tantillo is not the only one with the instinct to fight the “Made in China” tag attached to our clothing. He is the executive director of the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition (AMTAC), a group I’ve heard of before this reading.

    Together, Tantillo and the AMTAC work with other organizations nationwide in an attempt to limit and eventually end clothing imports. I was surprised to learn about the efforts of the AMTAC, as well as the organization in general. For example, having just learned about CAFTA in class, I was surprised that Tantillo and the AMTAC opposed the agreement as I had learned about its advantages in class. I was also surprised to learn who they’ve worked with in regards to both past and current partner organizations. Specifically, the Bush administration!

    Before this reading I knew that in the world of textile and apparel imports, opposition groups existed, but it was a change to be able to put a personal story to a group, and learn first hand about their efforts and history. Regardless of my views of the group or their opinions, I think my feelings towards the organization are different now that I feel I have a more personal connection and a knowing around the history of Tantillo. Having never heard of the group before, I was surprised to learn how long they’ve been actively fighting for their cause, and In the conclusion of chapter 9, I couldn’t help but feel pride for Tantillo when I read, “When we first met in 2003, he told me ‘We’re not extinct. Not yet.’ When I went back to visit Auggie in the summer of 2008, he held out his hand with a battle-worn smile. ‘We’re still here,’ he said.” Although the AMTAC has a lot of competition and opposition, they continue to fight for what they believe in.

  43. Excellent comment! We will discuss why trade policy tomorrow so that you can understand why the us textile industry support something and against others

  44. In chapter 9, Rivoli tackles an issue that is extremely prominent in US politics today: the loss of jobs. Rivoli focuses on how the US textile and apparel industry has lost job opportunities specifically to China. Auggie Tantillo fears that the decrease will soon lead to the extinction of the entire industry in the US. We discussed the issue earlier this semester in regards to the iPhone being made in China. It is not only the textile and apparel industry that deals with this issue. It was disappointing to read the relentless attempts and fights for the US textile and apparel industry to subside. Tantillo even admits that he believes the industry will diminish in the US however he continues to fight for it. As previously mentioned in class, China is not the only one to blame; we are facing technology replacing the jobs of humans. I found it interesting how Rivoli chose China specifically to focus on trade.

    It was interesting to read the politics of the textile and apparel industry in the US in chapter 10. I was unaware of how they two coincided. I also found it interesting how the book was written 4 years ago, however the politics still remain relevant. I was saddened to read how policymakers did not take Tantillo’s plea for votes seriously. I think that it is a serious problem that political figures and policymakers make a mockery of the textile and apparel industry. They seem to neglect the fact how this industry that contributes so greatly to the economy is diminishing and their cooperation and understanding could make a difference. Rivoli makes the great reference that almost all postwar presidents has needed help from the senators and governors in the Carolinas (where the textile and apparel industry is prominent) who in turn needed help for their textile towns. It is a little shocking to see how these political figures are not taking the time to return the favor.

    Chapter 11 addresses how technology and capital has replaced labor in textile production in the US. This is an explanation for the job loss in the US. This has been the subject of one of our lectures. We have established that the US is capital intensive, rather than labor intensive. The development of technology has increased production and cut down on labor costs but having machinery replace humans in the workplace. These technologies increase production as opposed to human labor. This answers Rivoli’s question of how employment decreases however production remains steady. I’m glad that Rivoli pointed out that China faces the same employment issues we do. This clears up the disbelief that we are losing textile and apparel jobs to China. I was happy to see that Rivoli mentions Wal-Mart in this chapter. Wal-Mart holds such a controversial position in the apparel world and I felt it was really appropriate to mention them in the book.

    In chapter 12, Rivoli goes through a detailed explanation of each of the most recent presidents’ take on free trade and their responses. Telling it through the eyes of Tantillo made it more of a narrative than a bland political explanation. It also set a great example of presidents being knowledgeable about the textile and apparel industry. Hopefully, this sets a good example for the governors and senators who neglected to know anything about the industry and make a mockery of Tantillo and his attempts.

      1. Your comments lead me to believe that the US Textile and Apparel sector are not only the forerunners in the economy but are very important and beneficial and without them the US will suffer greatly. Although it is cheaper for the US to give the work to China it is still necessary for the US to hold some share. Your comments about the book are very clear and concise and I agree with them

  45. Part III of the Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy really opened my eyes to the advancements in technology that the US Textiles and Apparel Industry has made. It was really interesting to learn how it used to be compared to how it is now. I was also happy to see that someone really cared about how the outsourcing to overseas in this industry is destroying our economy and how saving jobs can really make a positive difference.
    After the attacks on the World Trade Center, I was not aware of the how much of a big role that Target and Wal-Mart played within the relationship between the US and Pakistan. It was interesting to learn that sales were then restricted to the US because of the high tariffs when the US used to be one of Pakistan’s largest customers for both textiles and apparels. I had no idea that Pakistan was such a large contributor to that area of the industry. The factories in Pakistan were suffering because the loss of all the buying from the US, so they had no choice but to lower the high tariffs. The companies in the US could just move on to different countries if they could not more freely import cotton clothing. This is really interesting to me because I would have never thought that the fashion industry would have a large impact on the complicated relationships between countries.
    In Part III, I definitely learned that China has a large dominance over the apparel industry. Auggie Tantillo is man that really believes in keeping the textile and apparel industry alive here in the United States and to keep jobs here and not outsourced. He believes that if things continue the way that they are now, China will end up destroying the US textile and apparel industry. The reasoning behind this is that a countless amount of jobs have already been lost and there is no sign of it decreasing or coming to an end. Re-shoring and bringing jobs back to the US is something can prevent the destruction of the US textile and apparel Industry. I really admire Auggie’s dedication to saving the industry here in the US; I worry that it might be too late for that. The cheapness of the labor overseas isn’t even comparable to the expensiveness here in the United States. It is very upsetting, but from a realistic point of view it seems that the US textile and apparel industry is headed for disaster.

  46. Part III of the Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy really opened my eyes to the advancements in technology that the US Textiles and Apparel Industry has made. It was really interesting to learn how it used to be compared to how it is now. I was also happy to see that someone really cared about how the outsourcing to overseas in this industry is destroying our economy and how saving jobs can really make a positive difference.

    After the attacks on the World Trade Center, I was not aware of the how much of a big role that Target and Wal-Mart played within the relationship between the US and Pakistan. It was interesting to learn that sales were then restricted to the US because of the high tariffs when the US used to be one of Pakistan’s largest customers for both textiles and apparels. I had no idea that Pakistan was such a large contributor to that area of the industry. The factories in Pakistan were suffering because the loss of all the buying from the US, so they had no choice but to lower the high tariffs. The companies in the US could just move on to different countries if they could not more freely import cotton clothing. This is really interesting to me because I would have never thought that the fashion industry would have a large impact on the complicated relationships between countries.

    In Part III, I definitely learned that China has a large dominance over the apparel industry. Auggie Tantillo is man that really believes in keeping the textile and apparel industry alive here in the United States and to keep jobs here and not outsourced. He believes that if things continue the way that they are now, China will end up destroying the US textile and apparel industry. The reasoning behind this is that a countless amount of jobs have already been lost and there is no sign of it decreasing or coming to an end. Re-shoring and bringing jobs back to the US is something can prevent the destruction of the US textile and apparel Industry. I really admire Auggie’s dedication to saving the industry here in the US; I worry that it might be too late for that. The cheapness of the labor overseas isn’t even comparable to the expensiveness here in the United States. It is very upsetting, but from a realistic point of view it seems that the US textile and apparel industry is headed for disaster.

    1. Good comment. Yes, our field is far more than yarns, fabrics and fashion. It is about globalization, about economic growth, about human development and about politics.

  47. Reading part three was very similar to what we have discussed in class. The textile and apparel-manufacturing sector in the U.S. has significantly declined over the past decade because most of the manufacturing has moved over to China. It is easy to see why companies have made the jump to the “dark side” as Auggie would put it, because simply it is much less expensive to have clothing manufactured over there. The U.S. employees physically cannot put in the time, or get paid well enough to make a living doing what the Chinese workers do. It was really enjoyable to read about Auggie and how he is fighting for these jobs to somehow be returned to the U.S. or restrict clothing and textile imports more from the U.S. But the argument goes both ways with Julia Huges, who is a Washington representative for the U.S. Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel. Julia thinks that Auggie needs to get with the times, and for the U.S. and China to see who can make a better product at the right cost and see who wins. It’s true, as much as people in the U.S. would like things to go back to the way things were where the U.S. textile and apparel industry was once one of the largest industries, the U.S. just cannot compete with the new competition.
    It was interesting to see how politics were brought up in this section and how politicians were only helping people like Auggie over the past few decades to receive their votes in the upcoming election. We all know that Obama wants manufacturing to come back to the U.S. but only time and policies will tell if that will happen. Part three talks a lot about the trade policies we discuss in class and seeing how they really affect the U.S. industry in this book. The book gives you the views from an average person that this affects, to the economists views on the subject, and that was enjoyable to read. As we have learned in class the United States is capital intensive, and not labor intensive anymore. High tech machines that can produce things faster have since replaced manual labor, or things are being produced where labor is less expensive in a developing country. Before taking this class and reading this book, I knew that trade and policies had to do with the textile and apparel sector, but did not know how involved it really was. Part III of this book really clarified that information for me. I am interested to see what will happen over the next few years with the textile and apparel sector in the United States. Will jobs continue to be sent overseas, or will something change and things will be brought back to the US? People these days are interested in knowing where their clothing, food, etc… are coming from so maybe in the future there is a chance for the textile and apparel sector to return. I am looking forward to finishing the book and learning more about the textile and apparel sector.

  48. At this stage in my educational career, I found this section of “The Travels of a T-Shirt” to be most important. “Trouble at the Border” suggested a great deal of valid arguments, as well as information regarding the textiles and apparel industry. The opposing opinions of Auggie Tantillo and Julia Hugh were essential to this section. This allowed me to wrap my head around the pros and cons of outsourcing. Tantillo, being an anti-outsource activist, noted that he feels China will ultimately ruin the face of the textiles and apparel industry. He is constantly fighting to keep textile and apparel jobs on American soil. Though Tantillo’s views are entirely understandable and respectable, I more so agree with Julia Hugh who is the President of the U.S Association of Importers of the Textiles and Apparel Industry. She argues that bring outsourced jobs home to United States soil would do more harm than good. She feels that it won’t be as beneficial as many would hope. She states that ultimately, the United States would lose more money than it would gain by bringing back this industry.

    This section discussed, more or less, the behind the scenes information of the T&A industry. I feel that this is very valuable information, especially to those who are new to the industry. As a senior at URI, I especially feel the need to understand opposing views of the textile and apparel industry, regarding globalization and trade.

    In one part of the reading, I caught on to an interesting irony suggested. The United States is constantly striving to be as technologically advanced as possible. However, this constant strive to achieve this advancement is exactly what is cause American job loss. A piece that really stood out to me was “while employment is falling, production is steady, or even rising.” This makes me consider the values of this country. Do we want to be known as technological pioneers or enjoy a stable economy full of economic growth within its population?

    On the other hand, this section also mentioned how China, too, is seeing a rapid decline in employment. Perhaps even faster than the United States. As China becomes more advanced with its technology, this is translating into the familiar job loss that the US is experiencing.

    After absorbing what was presented in the text, I have really developed the thought that technology is a double-edged sword. It ultimately is a creation of economic division, both socially and economically. In the near future, I personally see a much wider gaps within the population of the US. Companies who are capable of using technology to its absolute maximum will receive the benefits of it. However, those who used to be employed for these companies will see layoffs. It makes you question what is more important in life. Being good, or doing good.

  49. Out of all the chapters in art three of the T shirt book, I was very intrigued by “returning in America”. IN this Auggie Tantillo discussed his feeling and fight for bringing back manufacturing jobs to the United States. The American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition and Auggie have been working with political campaigns to bring awareness to the issues facing our country. To most its seems affordable to offshore but the big problem is we are losing jobs. “In 2007, 95 percent of the 20 billion garments Americans purchased were produced overseas,” the amount of jobs that could be in the US from this quote would defiantly help with our economic crisis occurring. As reading on about these political issues I couldn’t help but to think of the Transpacific Partnership that is being created. In class we have constantly discussed the affects of this Agreement and I think that it would benefit both sides of the argument of off shoring and bringing manufacturing to the US. The US partnering with other countries for free trade will hopefully shy companies away from outsourcing to China and instead trading with other countries in the partnership. Either way I think that there will be a continued ongoing battle with where to manufacture our products.

  50. I found it very interesting in reading Chapter 9 in Part III of “The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy” by Pietra Rivoli that what we think is “free trade” isn’t really what it is. I agree with Julia Hughes that all of these crazy rules put in place make it harder to trade in a free trade agreement rather than easier. Anyone outsider who hears the word “free trade” would probably automatically think “free” is good, so how bad could it be? However, that’s really not the case. Many developing countries that already have other problems cannot get around all the rules and, as Hughes points out, many U.S. importers don’t even want to deal with it all, so they just walk away. The sad fact is trade from these areas aren’t really free at all.

    What really struck me in Chapter 10 was the fact that the United States was responsible for its own demise by trying to limit imports. When Eisenhower first attempted to “temporarily” limit imports from Japan, he thought he was just making an easy fix. However, by doing so he ended up making things worse by opening up competition from other countries to supply the U.S. market. This eventually led Kennedy to do the same, but obviously including more countries and more goods. Again this was not a quick fix and so bigger programs kept being implemented, which also didn’t help, and so the industry just kept getting worse. It’s easy to blame others for your faults, but in this case it was the U.S.’s own fault.

    Going off of what I mentioned above, Chapter 11 continued to show how the U.S. keeps making things worse for themselves. Rather than trying to tackle issues with other countries, the “alphabet armies” are making enemies of each other. For example, the NCC erected import barriers for raw cotton, which in turn increased the costs for the AYSA. As a result, the AYSA lobbied for quotas and tariffs on yarn imports, which then limits U.S. fabric producers to be able to get the best yarn at the best prices. Finally, this produces increased costs for U.S. apparel producers and limits them to respond to the quick changing whims of the consumer. All of this has reduced the U.S.’s chances at remaining competitive rather their intended cause of keeping foreign competitors at bay.

    Lastly, in Chapter 12, I found it interesting that it was a debate about textile mills that seemed to have aided Obama in winning over North Carolina in the presidential race of 2008. With so many other important political issues floating around during that time, I was impressed that Obama’s support of mills in North Carolina, and his letter that he sent to NCTO claiming that he wanted to create a relationship with the industry to help it, may have factored into Obama’s victory. It really does show how important the industry is to the U.S. and its citizens.

  51. I had never really put much thought before into what goes on in the textile and apparel manufacturing process until reading part three of the T-Shirt travels book. I had a general understanding based on the lecture and previous knowledge and understood that most manufacturing is done overseas because of the cost being so low. However I have never contemplated much on the process to import those off-shore produced products into the US. Part three of the book allows the ready to get an insight and full understanding of the restrictions the United States has on the T&A imports. The laws about importing are constantly changing. Chapter nine “Returning to America” discusses these changing laws and the consequences they have in detail. Chapter nine Auggie and Julia express their opposing views on off-shore production. The argument is whether more US manufacturing should be promoted in order to increase jobs or should manufacturing be mostly made overseas to help growing economies and get products manufactured for a cheaper price. But my claim is how much cheaper is it really when Tariffs are due for overseas T&A production?
    The third part of the book also brought up the yarn forward versus fabric forward debate that we had previously discussed in class. This debate revolves around determining the Rules of Origin of a textile and apparel good. These rules are set in place to benefit the countries that are members of the specific free trade agreements, such as CAFTA and NAFTA. The book also provided me with more information on the topic of various Free Trade Agreements and how much of an impact decisions made regarding this topic can have on such a significant amount of the world’s economy.

  52. To compare both Auggie Tantillo and Julia Hughes thoughts in chapter nine on Chinese apparel exports to the US was a really great way to see the positive and negative effects it has on our economy. It’s difficult to form an opinion on which theory is right as they both make valid arguments. I share Tantillo’s concerns on the decrease of American jobs but I agree with Hughes thinking American apparel companies need to find the best T-shirts at the best prices.

    It’s funny to hear Auggie gets a bad feeling in his stomach when walking into Walmart’s clothing section because my brother, Brian, shares the same feeling as Auggie does. Not only does Brian feel strongly about the number of jobs lost as we continue to import from China, but believes numerous of small businesses suffer due to the unbeatable low prices at Walmart. Besides the point, there are plenty of reasons why Walmart is a poor business for American economy.

    It was inspiring to hear Auggie’s struggle to keep the textile industry in the US, especially when he began getting involved in politics right after he graduated from college, a similar place I will be in a month in a half. Also exciting to hear how involved he got as well as being promoted to Undersecretary of Commerce for Textiles and Apparel at only 28 years old. Although he was promoted to such an honorary job, US textiles and apparels were declining rapidly, it was becoming more difficult for Auggie to fight for what he thinks is right.

    What an interesting thing to read was the relationship between Pakistan and the United States on Pakistani textile and apparel exports. I had no idea the US was one of Pakistan’s biggest customers, but also had to spend 29% tariff and follow strict quotas. As the US was going through a horrific time after the 9/11 terror attacks, negotiation between Pakistan and the US continued by debating about Pakistan’s tariff reliefs and quota increases.

  53. Part III of The Travels of a T-Shirt In the Global Economy really bought light to some topics I’ve learned about years before. Chapter 10 was interesting because it talked about how politics affect the global economy. The effects of the political barriers to Chinese apparel to the United States is very real. “China’s share of the U.S. apparel imports is around 30%. That is a very high percentage just to the United States when the Chinese has 85% of apparel imports in several other industrialized counties” (144). That means the Chinese do a lot of business with the U.S. With political barriers this could change dramatically. There really is so much politics that changes the way business is run everyday. Auggie Tantillo, a man fighting to keep textile and apparel manufacturing jobs in the US, predicts that China will essentially ruin the US textile and apparel manufacturing industry. The U.S. has already lost a lot of jobs to globalization and it’s slow getting worse. Although Tantillo is trying to “re-shore” the outsourced job I feel like it won’t end up happening because no matter what it will be cheaper anywhere else to make products except for the U.S. and other first world countries. Today the U.S. creates bigger technology but really it’s hurting us in the long run. We use machines to make products. We don’t have to pay machines like we have to pay people so we save money in production but lose jobs in the process. In the last chapter, I found it interesting that Obama campaign devoted significant resources to the North Caroline textile communities, and Obama himself wore suits that were made in American throughout the campaign. Obama also sent a letter to Cass Johnson of the NCTO answering the following questions they asked him saying that he was, “committed to purse most of the aggressive political requested by the industry. And he acknowledged that the textile industry was a special case” (206). John McCain did not answer the NCTO’s questions. As much as we think textiles business may not be a political game it still is a large industry in the United States and it will effect everyone globally.

  54. In part III of this book what I found most intriguing and significant was the discussion of job decline. The U.S seeks to be as technically advanced as possible, believing that it will help them to continue to thrive as a country. However, it is for this very reason why there is such a job loss within the U.S Textile & Apparel industry; “While employment is falling, production is steady or rising.” The technological advances in machinery have resulted in manufacturing workers being replaced by machines. As we discussed in class U.S. is capital intensive rather than labor intensive.
    Also another interesting fact mentioned in the book is that China is also experiencing job decline in the T&A industry. As they become more advanced with technology they fall into the similar state as the U.S.
    I also must mention Tantillo and Hugh opposing arguments on outsourcing. Tantillo fights to keep textile and apparel jobs within the U.S. and believes that china will damage the U.S. Textile & Apparel industry because of the amount of jobs already lost. Where as Hugh believes that outsourcing is better for the U.S. The cheap labor overseas does not compare to the expenses here in the U.S. Overall this was an interesting and informative read and I look forward to part IV.

  55. At the beginning of part three Auggie talks about his fight against the growing waves of apparel imports. His passion and drive for what he believes in is inspiring. I was shocked to see the numbers, in “1991 more than half of Americans’ clothing was made in the US and in 2007 95 percent were produced overseas”. The increase in apparel imports to the US is obvious to most consumers but the numbers were very surprising, I would not have thought that the imports have increased so much so fast. The rules and regulations surrounding apparel manufacturing and trade are complex and confusing. Different textile items have separate regulations which I was not fully aware of before. Such as boxer shorts must follow the fabric forward rule while knit fabric follows a fiber forward rule. The never ending list of rules is ever changing and it is impossible to make everyone happy, manufacturers, retailers, consumers. Politics control trade making it essential to have people such as Auggie fighting for certain regulations to be passed to help protect jobs in the textile and apparel industry in the US even if it doesn’t always work.

  56. I found part three of the T-shirt book very interesting. I felt as if I could connect more to this section because of what we learned in class about the different economies and international trade. Right as I started reading this section, I was able to connect what I was reading to the material that we learned in our previous lectures. There are multiple issues discussed in this section relating to the textile and apparel industry such as trade and employment. Just like we have been discussing all semester, since companies look overseas (ie. China) for faster and cheaper manufacturing, the employment rate in the U.S is decreasing. Among many of the organizations, American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition is there to help sustain manufacturing job in the U.S. This point leads me to Auggie, who is one man who “has spent his entire life on defense, trying to block or slow the waves of cheap clothing imports flowing into the U.S. markets” (144). It’s refreshing to read about someone who still fights for the good of the U.S Textile and Apparel Industry.

    As I went on to read this chapter, I learned how much politics is involved in the industry. Dating back several generations, there have been presidential efforts to help the U.S. industry. There have been multiple agreements that went into effect to cut tariffs and have restrictions and regulation on trade. Although these agreements had some effect in keeping production in the U.S up, there is also the concern that it “has been undermined much more by mechanization and technological progress than by foreign competition.” (172) I am curious to see what happens to the U.S Textile and Apparel industry as well as employment as the technology advances.

  57. One line I found particularly interesting was when talking about exports from China, it is the trade policy, not comparative advantages. So even if China had the cheapest labor, the U.S. stil wouldn’t import from only there because there are a lot of politics surrounding trade. This is interesting because we started talking about the new free trade agreements in class.

    Obviously everyone knows how the U.S. has been outsourcing for years, and outsourcing has become more popular, but its crazy to see actual statistics. One that caught my attention was how in 1991 more than half of American clothing was produced domestically, but in 2007, 95 percent of the 20 billion garments were produced overseas. This obviously creates a lot of job losses in the U.S. and it was nice to read about Auggie Tantillo and the AMTAC.

    Another part I found interesting was the U.S. employing hundreds of custom inspectors that regularly raid Chinese factories. The U.S. is spending all this money on inspectors, yet we still hear so many negative things about factories, especially the fire in Bangladesh. It was interesting to learn how much money China makes off of quotas, and how those quotas could be used in ways that benefit the U.S., rather than the Chinese market.

    It was interesting to read about the politics and the history of exports/imports. It also helped me put what we learned in class into perspective. Especially when they were talking about how trade between rich countries is mostly tariff free, (which we are seeing now with the EU)- but imports from poor countries face disproportionate trade barriers. Although it is so cheap to produce things in China and other developing countries, the tariffs to import them is very expensive. That’s why companies do what we talked in class about having the last part of the item be assembled in a country that we have a free trade agreement with. (ex. Mexico)

  58. After reading the third part of Travels of a T-shirt in the Global Economy it was interesting to hear about all the factors affecting the current textile and apparel industry. A lot of the things we have been talking about in class are very similar to the topics touched upon in this section of the book.
    As we all know a lot of the United States manufacturing jobs went overseas to China. The same clothing can be made there for a lot cheaper then the prices here in the U.S. Therefore now almost all United States companies are using offshore production for their products. This has diminished the jobs in the textile and apparel industry throughout the country.
    Auggie the director of AMTAC, the American Manufacturing Trade Auction Coalition, is fighting to keep the textile and apparel industry in the United States alive. I am happy to hear he is so passionate about this problem and fighting for the industry, but at the same time, as we talked about in class, and what Julia argues in the book, I feel as if this might be a waste of time. Most people here in the United States do not want to work in factories getting paid minimum wage and they do not want to have to pay high prices for clothing. It is a double-edged sword. For instance like in assignment 2 the article we read stated that the U.S. should permit a lot more immigrants to come into the country to work the jobs in the industry. Consequently bringing manufacturing back to the U.S. might not be the best solution to the problem.
    Another aspect that we have to take into account is jobs being lost because of the new technology. This is an additional problem creating a shortage of jobs in the industry as well. I always forget that technology also takes away jobs. We are always so happy when new technology is created but maybe we should think again.
    It is also nice to hear Obama is supporting the textile and apparel industry in the U.S. I think this industry’s issues are a bigger problem then most people think. Overall these chapters were very interesting and built on top of a lot of the information we have learned about in class.

  59. Part III “Trouble at the Border” begins with discussing the reality of China’s role in the apparel industry. The book mentions that as production is rising so is the unemployment rate in the United States. Auggie Tantillo is actively against outsourcing jobs to China for the apparel industry. Tantillo is fighting to keep textile and apparel jobs within the United States. Auggie believes that the industry is not safe in China’s hands and views that if we bring it back to America it will bring more jobs back as well. This portion also linked the loss of jobs to the increase in technology. Advancing our technology is a constant goal for our country, yet it is taking away our jobs.
    My way of thinking is more in line with Julia Hugh, president of the United States Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel. Julia discussed that bringing it back, won’t necessarily achieve our goals. Profits will go down for people providing retail jobs, so there will be less workers in stores. Personally I would rather work in a store than a factory. The technology is taking away jobs too. Why pay a human with families and needs, when you can build something that will do the work ten times as quickly, and doesn’t get tired? Not to mention, people in these minimum wage positions require the prices of the products provided by China’s factories. Overall, I found part III interesting. I love hearing a variety of opinions and ideas. It’s healthy for disagreements and debates.

  60. I found this reading to be very interesting because it’s discussing topics that are very relevant and important to what’s going on in our lives now. When Rivoli brought up politics it was very relevant because of the upcoming election. Honestly, I am not very familiar with politics or politicians, but I know that they promise things that they usually don’t mean or keep just in order to get votes. I learned from the reading that politics control trade and how the textile and apparel industry will operate. This was new to me! It was comforting to know that Obama supported the apparel industry in his 2008 campaign. He made promises to protect North Carolina’s manufacturing industry which is a promise he has kept. Unfortunately, there are many other politicians that lie and don’t keep promises. At the end of the day it is a game about getting votes. “I’ll help you if you vote for me” kind of game. Do politicians really care as long as their winning the election? Obama and Romney said that they want to help small businesses and US based companies in the US, but it is hard to believe who, if either, are being truthful. Truth or lie, there is no debate that jobs are disappearing in the U.S. and it is a huge problem. Although in class we have been talking about globalization and how that is a factor in the decrease of American jobs, the reading also discusses technologies role. Technology is taking the place of many people’s jobs. It is unfortunate, but a harsh reality. Technology is perceived as this really great thing, but I don’t think that people really realize its drawbacks. I think that we are quick to blame China for our problems without realizing how technology has impacted the U.S. and jobs. I sympathize with Auggie and her story. Her anger is completely understandable, but it isn’t fair to blame a huge problem on just one reason. There are multiple reasons for why the U.S. is losing jobs and China is just one of the many reasons. I was shocked and surprised from the reading that even China is losing textile jobs and their job losses are way more severe and rapid compared to job loss in North and South Carolina! Clearly, China is also suffering from technological advancements just like we are. It’s scary to think about and come to the realization that everyone is suffering from this.

  61. After reading part III of this book, I feel like I have learned more about our T&A economy through different years. Through out this section it explains both sides of the T&A spectrum of being for international trade or trying to keep more in the US. As I was reading about both sides, it is hard for me to pick a clear cut side on who is right or wrong because there are negatives and positives to both of them. The more I read, the more I learned about all of the different tactics that were used to try and control quotas and tariffs for other countries.
    One section that stuck out to me is how jobs may be ending in the US but other jobs are starting. The book talks about how there are new positions and groups in companies that were not there a decade ago but because of new technology everyday, there are needs for new positions. Also, I found it interesting how the US may not be doing the regular T-shirt on a daily basis, but they are starting to work on “fabrics of the future”. Knowing that people are able to make fabric that could stop bleeding or transmit information to doctors is something that we should also be prided on.
    In the last section of the book, It talks about how powerful politics is, this really shows that if you take a little extra time, as Obama did, then things can turn out in your favor. I was happy to find out that Obama wants and is helping the industry unlike pervious presidents who would make empty promises just to obtain votes. It is great that he is helping the domestic industry and forming new free trade policies.There was a lot of good information in this section that was useful in understand economics in our T&A industry.

  62. First off, it is very impressive that last semester you would able to host Matt Priest, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Textiles and Apparel, on your discussion panel to hear his firsthand experience in the industry we all strive to work in!
    The beginning of Part III opens up a chapter titled, “Returning to America,” which dives into the controversial topic we’ve been continuously discussing all semester: outsourcing apparel manufacturing to China. It is such a hot topic because either viewpoint, whether you’re for or against it, has valid reasoning to back it up. Take Auggie Tantillo, for example; he is the executive director of the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition (AMTAC), which passionately promotes keeping manufacturing jobs within the textile and apparel industry in the United States. I did not realize there was a group such as the AMTAC that existed, and I commend their efforts. I believe that it is important to care for your own country’s economic system, and stick up for it when it is being affected in a mainly negative way. However, this does not mean that I am totally against importing products from China because globalization is very important to me and I strongly believe in becoming one cohesive world. Back to Auggie’s efforts through the AMTAC group. Rivoli states that, “Auggie has spent his entire adult life on defense, trying to block or slow the waves of cheap clothing imports flowing into U.S. markets” (144), and over the years he has never given up on the fight. Sadly for Auggie though, he believes that after fighting with China and not gaining any ground, this is the last of his rebellion. “Between 2000 and 2007, the U.S. textiles and apparel industries lost more than one-half of their remaining jobs” (144). Supporters of the boom of globalization include Julia Hughes, a Washington representative for the U.S. Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel, has always been a criticizer of Auggie’s fight, even though she admires his beliefs. I agree with her belief, that Auggie and his followers need to catch up with the times and live in the twenty-first century.
    I did not realize that it was during World War II that the US T&A sector started feeling pressure and competition from foreign countries. I was also astounded to read that just after WWII the T&A sector employed nearly 2.5 million workers, which was the highest amount so far. After reading the chapter, “Dogs Snarling Together” I am honestly just overwhelmed with the amount and complexity of politics involved in the T&A industry; I was please to read on page 158 that I am not alone with this thought because Auggie had the same opinion when he travelled to Washington. Politics has never been my favorite subject for discussion, but I am truly trying to gain an interest and understanding for it since it is such a huge part of the industry I aspire to have a career in.
    In chapter 11 I was most interested in reading the section titled, “Wal-Mart Backs Musharraf.” It was so interesting to read that T-shirt imports from Pakistan was one of the more important topics of discussion during the aftermath of terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. I enjoyed reading the organizations’ beliefs and reasoning for staying in business with Pakistan or dropping ties with the country and give their business to another poor country who has been waiting for the US to come to them. This greatly affected Pakistan because the US was one of their biggest accounts which helps keep their successful textile and apparel industry going and maintain more than 60% of Pakistan’s industrial employment and exports. If I worked for one of the US organizations such as the ATMI or AAFA, I would personally be afraid that if we took our business away from Pakistan and gave it to another country that Pakistan would be very angry and cause backlash against the US or the other country that would take the US’ orders.
    I really enjoyed the section titled “Try This New Underwear” in chapter 12 because any time India is mentioned relating to textiles my eyes and ears perk up. I absolutely love Indian textiles, prints, and dyes and cannot wait to travel there one day to experience this firsthand. It disappointed me to read on page 210 that the woolen weavers in Britain were able to ban all imported cotton cloth because they were missing out! It’s totally their loss and they are going to be kicking themselves when they are sweating during the summer wearing all wool!

    1. I am glad to see you learnt much from the reading. I understand people would seldom link textile and apparel with politics. But actually it is the synergy of business, politics and policy that make fashionable safe and affordable apparel available to each hardworking families. People can ignore fashion, but they cannot ignore those critical global issues behind textiles and clothing. I hope our tmd/TM students can see the big picture and have the broad vision in mind. You will eventually write the history of the textile and apparel industry in the 21st century.

  63. In the third part of Travels of a T-shirt in the Global Economy I found it interesting to hear all about the factors that affect the current textile and apparel industry. From what we learned in class, we know that the United States manufacturing jobs went overseas especially to China. The reason that the United States moved those job to China is because it is a lot cheaper to produce the garment over there then it is here in the United States. Since it is cheaper to produce overseas many U.S. companies are using offshore production. Producing the products offshore we are loosing more jobs in he country especially in the textile and apparel industry.

    Like we talked about in class the U.S. is very capital intensive instead of labor intensive. The United States is trying to be as technically advanced as possible. They think that being technically advanced will help them increase as a country and help bring make the jobs that they lost to China. Even though it seems like a great idea but it is hurting them more because having more advance technology machinery will cause less jobs. Replacing workers with the machinery.

    The American Manufacturing Trade Auction Coalition, AMTAC, director Auggie is fighting to keep the textile and apparel industry here in the United States active. Knowing that he is very passionate about this situation is great for the industry. But as we talked in class this might be a waste of time. We all know that the United States would not want to work in factories where they get paid minimum wage and working more hours than scheduled. It is great to hear the President Obama is in support of the textile and apparel industry in the Unites States. Many people under estimate the problem accruing in the textile and apparel industry. These several chapters really caught my attention and I am looking forward to reading more and discussing these issues in class.

  64. In 2007, 95% of Shirts purchased in the U.S. were made overseas. Restrictions were then placed on the amount of Chinese clothing that could be imported. Today, those
    Rules and restrictions change almost every day. An import tarriff really doesn’t help any side. We have to face the fact that the apparel industry in the U.S. is almost obsolete. The truth is, consumers want new clothing and they want it cheap. Unfortunately, this does cause a major decline in employment in the U.S. but it is important to come to terms with the fact that our country is abundant with capital. Textile employment in the U.S. is also declining but production is rising. The truth is, machines are replacing people because they are quicker and more efficient and the U.S. has the resources. (Technology is becoming more and more advanced every day)

  65. After reading Part 3: Trouble at the Border, it totally supports what Dr. Lu told us at the being of the semester. If I remember correctly he said, “The textile and apparel industry is heavily regulated and with the highest tariff.” I never thought tariffs and politics were directly linked together until I started reading part three of the t-shirt book. The “rules of the game” in the textile and apparel market is nothing more but politics.
    The race to the bottom contributes to the uproar of political voices. While some consumers are hoping to pay less for more, the demand of the market is pushes the race to the bottom continuing. However, on the other end, people like Auggie are pressuring the government to stop “free trade” and discouraging outsourcing the jobs. Rivoli mentioned how the U.S. policymakers have been playing the “wink and nod” game for the past 60 years to gain Auggie and his group’s votes because “ Southern textile leaders…share a cultural and historical bond that allows them to speak together” (Rivoli 157).
    The establishment of NAFTA and CAFTA provides a strong export for the U.S.’s textile market because countries that are part of NAFTA and CAFTA are required to use U.S. yarns. This benefits the U.S. economy and keeps Auggie and his troop happy and the consumers happy. Overall, I guess the NAFTA and CAFTA is a win-win for the textile and apparel industry.
    In chapter 12, when President Obama was running the election, he wore suits that were made in the U.S.A and devoted resources to the textile communities. However, it is hard to believe it is just another “wink” like the author described. President Obama’s addressed the NCTO questions and the answers he gave to the textile communities were good to their ears which helped with President Obama’s victory. I remember for 2012’s election, Women’s Wear Daily dedicated the front page to President Obama and he wanted to save this suit manufacturing plant. However, just by supporting the factories with subsidiaries is not enough. Humans are losing to machine because machines are faster and financially pleasing to the companies. It will be machines which we will ultimately have to challenge against, and how will the problems be resolved then? The textile community will decrease as technology advances even more. I wonder what changes would Auggie and his troop want the next president to promise then.

  66. Part three of the book “Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy” had very interesting facts in it that I did not know of before. I believe that every person going into the textile field should know and read this book. On page 144 the author states: “Auggie has spent his entire adult life on the defense, trying to block or slow the waves of cheap clothing imports flowing into U.S. markets.” I thought that this quote related to our first case study in class. This is someone speaking out against cheap labor and using his or her voices to try and make a difference. I thought this quote was extremely interesting and important. Also on page 145 the author states: “Auggie knows that in the long run, he will lose. But on the way to losing there are victories, and these keep him energized.” Even though Auggie stands with a small group of people, his voice is being heard and it can make a difference in the industry. As I continued to read on I saw Julia Hughes point of view on this story. She says that she agrees with Auggie but basically thinks he should just give up on what he is doing. Although she does “respect” what he is doing, she thinks he is wrong. In this chapter, it was interesting to see the different viewpoints from each person.

    In the next section of the chapter, it was interesting to read about politics. One quote that really stood out to me would be when the author states: “. Eisenhower administration persuaded Japan to “voluntarily” limit its exports of cotton textiles to the U.S. to allow temporary breathing room for the U.S. industry.” (Page 161) I found this quote to be extremely upsetting. The first would be that we rely so much on other countries for producing textiles and it is not always a good thing. Also, with so much reliance, it takes jobs in the U.S. and this puts people out of work and in really harsh circumstances. This quote definitely opened my eyes. This quote also reminded me about the case study we worked on in class. It was also interesting to read that some politicians did not follow through with what they were going to do and certain problems should have been handled differently. Lastly, as I read on in this closing section of the chapter I realized that Auggie and Julia did make a difference to the textile industry. I honestly did not know of organizations that did what Auggie and Julia do. I thought it was really interesting to read about and so far I have learned a lot about the textile field just by reading these three sections.

  67. Part III of the tee shirt travels book was very interesting because it got more into the political aspect of the apparel industry, which as a textiles and political science double major seems very interesting. It talked more about the products that were manufactured overseas coming back to the United States. It talked about how certain people avoid clothing manufactured overseas and will not buy it. I thought Auggie’s fight to keep the textiles and apparel industry in the US was very interesting mostly because I know when I go shopping if I see something made in the USA I think its really great, but I don’t specifically look for only that…because in reality most is not made in the USA. He wants to keep jobs in the United States and help keep our economy thriving. It was not just people but organizations trying to limit the amount of imports from China.

    I also think it is intriguing that if trade limitations and quotas were lifted, there would be a huge loss in jobs because China would easily be able to take over the export market due to their cheap labor. The fact that the President chose to side with the U.S. Textile and Apparel industry was also surprising for me being that it probably is not the best way to get out of the country debt crisis, but it is more beneficial for American workers. Like we have talked about in class the US is more technology based and the apparel industry is a dying one here at home.

    Reading what I have read in section III makes me question a lot of things, mainly which is more beneficial to produce apparel in the U.S. or overseas. Most people who care have strong beliefs on this issue, and I thought I did but after reading this I can really see the benefits and negatives of both sides and how it impacts the US greatly either way.

  68. I like the wide spectrum of issues you mentioned in the cooment. Very true. Textile and apparel trade involves politics. I look forward to the 2nd and 3rd case study with you guys.

    1. Interesting thoughts about how beneficial the Textile and Apparel Sector really is to the US. The fact that you noted about the president siding with the US to keep the T&A sector to help release the debt crisis was interesting.

  69. I definitely think that part three of the book has been the most relevant to our class. The first thing that jumped out at me when reading this section was the part about Auggie Tantillo and the (AMTAC) American Manufacturing Trade Auction Coalition. This is an advocacy group dedicated to preserving manufacturing jobs in the U.S. textile and apparel industries. It is very interesting to read about how he is so dedicated to keeping jobs in the U.S. On the other hand, it is very unfortunate that he predicts that the fight with China could be the last; “Between 2000 and 2004, the U.S. textile and apparel industries lost more than one-third of their remaining jobs, and looming on Auggie’s horizon—and on the horizon of manufacturers everywhere—is the china threat, as well as a new set of rules to govern global trade in T-shirts.” It is very sad that we do not really have a chance of competing with China when it comes to yarn, fabric and apparel production.

    Another part that was interesting was how politics were brought up in this section. It was said how politicians were only helping people like Auggie over the past few decades to receive their votes in the upcoming election. Obama has made it clear that he would like manufacturing to come back to the U.S. however this may take many years and many policies to be put into affect in order for this to happen. This part also goes into great detail about the trade policies we discussed in class. It really opened my eyes as to how much they really affect the U.S. industry. Also, Obama sent a letter to NCTO’s saying that he is aware of the trade challenges faced by those working in the textile industry. Then, Auggie was asked if they think this letter helped him win the North Carolina victory and he believed that it did. This struck me as a positive thing because it seems like he did a good job at saving jobs in the United States.
    I am really excited to see what is going to happen over the next few years with the textile and apparel sector in the United States. This section truly made me wonder if jobs will continue to be sent overseas or will something finally change and make things be brought back to the US? It seems like people are getting more and more concerned with where their clothing is coming from and hopefully this will improve. I am looking forward to finishing the book and learning more about the textile and apparel industry.

  70. In chapter 9, Returning to America, it speaks about the chinese t-shirts verses american jobs. It also tells us how the U.S. apparel industry has lost the race to the bottom. Some people realize that they got their job sent over seas and in return they get a chinese t-shirt. People are torn because they need the low prices of China but they are also upset that a lot of american jobs are being sent overseas.

    In chapter 10, Dogs Snarling Together, politics have come to rule the global apparel trade industry. The size of the textile and apparel manufacturing base has brought politics into the trade of this industry. The textile and apparel industry is complex and massive that offers many different fields of work. The U.S. textile industry felt the first serious threat from imports immediately after WWII. Foreign competition has been growing steadily ever since then. The wages in the USA have been increasing, which makes businesses want to use foreign imports that provide cheaper wages. Different trade agreements and foreign trade taxes called tariffs provide barriers or an open field for the market. If there is a free trade agreement between countries, there is no barrier to help limit competition. If there are tariffs (usually 30%), some businesses may use production where there are no tariffs (NAFTA).

    In chapter 11, Perverse Effects and Unintended Consequences of T-shirt Trade Policy, talks about the purpose of the protectionist regime and the remains to protect manufacturing jobs in the western textile and apparel industries. As stated before, there are tariffs that put up a barrier of trade that benefits certain countries. There is a wall that allows benefits of trading with certain countries because of the high tariff if they traded with a country that had cheaper trade options. There has been a total switch in total jobs verses the output per worker from 1990 to 2007. Now, there are less jobs available and people are expected to output more work per employee as oppose to having a lot of jobs avaulable and less work output per employee. It is important to protect the western textile and apparel industries because it will make an affect on many people if they continue to decrease.

    In chapter 12, 45 Years of “Temporary” Protectionism Ends in 2009- Now What?, it speaks about the increasing of imports from china. China’s exports to the United States rose by more than 800% during the first four months of 2005 compared to the preceding year. The surge itself was apart of a negotiating tactic. Whenever textile and apparel import limits are negotiated by the United States and foreign governments, the practice is to negotiate the percentage increase in imports to be allowed over the certain year. It is healthy for our GDP to export more, but in this case we are seeing an increase in imports especially from China. This is due to their country being labor intensive and therefore making their production processes less expensive than our capital intensive production processes that does nott specialize in a massive labor intensive production.

  71. Chapter 10 was interesting because it talked about how politics affect the global economy. It was also intriguing to read a first hand experience on somebody trying to do something about the continual growth of the Textile and Apparel industries overseas and trying to save some of the jobs in America. I agree with a lot of the points made about Auggie’s opinion, but I also feel that Julia Hugh’s views on the topic are more sensible. As a representative of the US association importers of textiles and apparel, she believes its best for the United States to continue importing from China because they have the capacity that we require at the most cost efficient to us. I feel like this will continue to be an ongoing battle because even though it is beneficiary to the US to import from overseas, they are always going to still try and move jobs back to the US just to say they could do it. We can pretend we think textiles business may not be a huge part in political games, but it still is a large industry in the United States and it will have an effect on everyone globally.

  72. As the t-shirt continues its journey back into the United States through the Panama Canal into the Miami ports, political debates on foreign trade continue. The third portion of ‘The Travels of a T-shirt In a Global Economy’ [Trouble At The Border], explores the t-shirt’s most “complex and challenging phase of their lives” (143). Pietra Rivoli introduces political characters that represent viewpoints of the U.S. trade industry. Personally, part III was the most relatable section (so far) to our TMD 433 class as it discusses viewpoints, statistics, and important historical information relating to trade debates and agreements.

    Chapter 9 is relevant to our current learning a in 433 as it uses examples of two different American standpoints on the ‘war’ of globalization. Rivoli depicts this battle between Auggie Tantillo, an American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, versus Julia Hughes, the representative for U.S. Association of Importers of the Textile and Apparel sector. Both citizens and their associated organizations believe they are creating benefits for the United States. Rivoli explains Auggie Tantillo’s (AMTAC) beliefs in the importance of keeping and creating employment within the United States. Where in contrast, he mentions Julia Hughes contribution to the United States as keeping ties with other countries to create a steady flow of trade. “She just thinks that Auggie is wrong, and that he and his troops should stop whining and join the twenty-first century” (146). This scenario is a constant, reoccurring battle of the perceptions in terms of globalizing the United States of America.

    In terms of perception, chapter 10 is subtitled ‘How Politics Came to Rule the Global Apparel Trade’. Personally, this title is a perfect representation of how different political views tear apart the foundation of the United States. There shouldn’t be just one group who decided what is best for our country as a whole. Chapter 10 begins by answering and detangling the confusion I had in the ‘personal’ ruler ship in the economy. In the three discussed factors, Rivoli breaks down the complexity of the U.S. government in terms of foreign trade. He connects Auggie’s shattered perception of politics with the broken Reagan textile promise. He exposes history to his readers by discussing the political views of free trade. Rivoli mentioned that many previous United States presidents had different perceptions for the use of free trade in our country. “For some presidents, free trade was a foreign policy choice, designed to keep communists or war at bay, for others, it was a clear case of the best economic policy. For yet, others, a free trade posture was a matter of moral consistency” (159). “Only a few die-hard constitutional liberalists believe that the U.S. congress should be in charge of trade policy” (165). Rivoli mentions the lack of commitment or the ‘wink and nod’ mechanism that is acted upon organizations such as the ATMAC to accumulate campaign votes. The perception of what is truly beneficial for the United States is still blurry, as Rivoli mentions that Julia Hughes is still awaiting quota release and Auggie Tallito is stuck in the dinosaur days.

    Chapter 11 begins by analyzing a more current view on foreign trade. Rivoli discusses the 2008 Democratic election where Obama promoted his campaign by promising “to save jobs” within the United States if elected president. The author also discusses that technology could possibly be a factor in the decline of employment in our country. “In 2007, U.S. textile workers produced approximately 60 percent more goods per hour of work than they had in 1990” (172). Technological advances increase productivity, however, this diminishes the availability or vacancy of employment. This phenomenon is not only occurring in the United States, but also all over the world due to the rapid increase of technology within the past 20 years. This idea can be related to TMD 433 and other textile, economics, business or merchandise classes as it demonstrates the importance of productivity and technology in our everyday lives. I found it interesting when Rivoli mentioned that terms such a “doffing”, “piece up”, and “draw in” are extinct due to technological advances. “Public opinion will shift to reflect the promise of the global economy, and the days of rampant textile and apparel protectionism and unintelligible trade barriers will soon be only in the history books” (188).

    The final chapter of the third portion of ‘The Travels of a T-shirt in a Global Economy’ reintroduces the “wink and nod concept that was discussed in chapter 10. In the sub-chapter, “Obama’s Wink” Rivoli exposes the campaigns commitment to the NCTO in terms of the proposed aggressive policy requests. Rivoli tied this promise to the 2008 election outcome by question Auggie “…If the Obama letter had been a factor in the candidate’s North Carolina victory?” Tantillo responded to the author “I think it helped” (206). Using this, and the infamous Reagan ‘wink and nod’ promise, to the trade history of the 17th century, Rivoli distinguishes a pattern traveling into the future of the modern world.

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