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Key Economic Trends

  • In 2009, the U.S. trade deficit in textiles and apparel fell by 12 percent to $75.9 billion, largely because of the $13.7 billion (13 percent) decrease in imports that reflected the continued decline in consumer spending on apparel as a result of the U.S. economic downturn.
  • China was by far the largest supplier to the U.S. market, accounting for 39 percent of imports of textiles and apparel. However, imports from China fell considerably in 2009 to $35.1 billion, a decline of $1.3 billion from 2008. China’s cost advantage over other suppliers has been reduced in recent years, and other Asian suppliers, such as Vietnam, have become more prominent.
  • In 2009, the U.S. trade deficit in footwear declined by 9 percent as imports, which accounted for 99 percent of the U.S. footwear market, fell sharply for the first time in over five years. Most of the decline in U.S. footwear imports came from a $1.0 billion decrease in imports from China, which is still the largest supplier of footwear to the U.S. market.
  • Vietnam has emerged as one of the world’s principal footwear exporters and since 2008 has been the second-leading supplier of footwear to the United States. In 2009, U.S. imports of footwear from Vietnam rose by $111 million to $1.3 billion. Sport shoes are the leading U.S. footwear import from Vietnam.
  • Consumer spending on footwear fell by 3.4 percent in 2009, the first decline in recent years, which can be attributed to the downturn in the U.S. economy and rising unemployment.

Trade Shifts from 2008 to 2009

  • U.S. trade deficit: Decreased by $12.3 billion (12 percent) to $92.9 billion
  • U.S. exports: Decreased by $3.2 billion (17 percent) to $15.3 billion
  • U.S. imports: Decreased by $15.5 billion (13 percent) to $108.3 billion

Selected Product Shifts

USITC Publications

Certain Textile and Apparel Imports from China: Statistical Reports, Annual Compilation 2009, Investigation No. 332-501, USITC Pub. 4161, June 2010.

Certain Textile Articles Containing Rayon and Other Manmade Fibers: Effect of Modifications of NAFTA Rules or Origin for Goods of Canada and Mexico and Certain Textile Articles Containing Acrylic and Modacrylic Fibers: Effect of Modifications of NAFTA Rules of Origin for Goods of Canada, Investigation Nos. NAFTA 103-023 and NAFTA-103-024, USITC Pub. 4119, December 2009.

Textiles and Apparel: Effects of Special Rules for Haiti on Trade Markets and Industries, Investigation No. TR-5003-1, USITC Publication 4016, June 2008.

Denim Fabric: Commercial Availability in AGOA Countries During Fiscal Year 2009, Investigation No. AGOA-003, USITC Publication 4027, August 2008.

Certain Yarns and Fabrics FY 2009: Effect of Modification of the U.S.-Singapore FTA Rules of Origin, Investigation No. FTA-103-022, USITC Pub. 4096, August 2009.

Other Government Resources

International Trade Administration, Office of Textiles and Apparel

Other Resources

American Apparel and Footwear Association.

National Council of Textile Organizations

United States Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel

Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America