Textiles, Apparel, and Footwear Products

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Key Economic Trends

  • After years of increases, U.S. imports of textiles and apparel declined, falling by 3 percent in 2008 to $104.3 billion. The decline in U.S. imports is largely attributable to the downturn in the U.S. economy and decreased spending by consumers.
  • China remains the largest foreign supplier of textiles, apparel, and footwear to the U.S. market, accounting for slightly more than one-third of U.S. textile and apparel imports and almost three-fourths of U.S. footwear imports in 2008, by value. U.S. imports from China have slowed as China's low-cost advantage has eroded in the face of rising production costs and the appreciation of the yuan.
  • In 2008, U.S. imports of textiles and apparel from Mexico and Canada fell by 11 percent to just under $6.0 billion, and by 19 percent to $2.5 billion, respectively. These declines are largely attributable to increased competition from China and other Asian suppliers. U.S. imports from Vietnam rose by 20 percent to $5.4 billion, the largest percentage increase for any apparel exporter to the U.S. market.
  • U.S. exports of textiles and apparel increased by $271 million (2 percent) to $17.8 billion in 2008. Latin America was the largest regional export market for U.S. producers, accounting for close to one-half ($8 billion) of U.S. exports of textiles and apparel.
  • The U.S. trade deficit in footwear increased slightly, by 1 percent, to $18.8 billion in 2008. Although U.S. consumer spending on footwear rose in 2008, the increase was at a much slower rate than in recent years, likely due to the downturn in the U.S. economy.

Trade Shifts in 2008 from 2007

  • U.S. trade deficit: Decreased by $3.6 billion (4 percent) to $86.5 billion
  • U.S. exports: Increased by $271 million (2 percent) to $17.8 billion
  • U.S. imports: Decreased by $3.3 billion (3 percent) to $104.3 billion

Selected Product Shifts

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