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
- 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: Use in AGOA Countries During Fiscal Year 2007, Investigation No. AGOA-002, USITC Publication 4021, July 2008.
- Denim Fabric: Commercial Availability in AGOA Countries During Fiscal Year 2009, Investigation No. AGOA-003, USITC Publication 4027, August 2008.
- Andean Trade Preference Act: Impact on U.S. Industries and Consumers and on Drug Crop Eradication and Crop Substitution, 2007, USITC Publication 4037, September 2008.
- Caribbean Region: Review of Economic Growth and Development, May 2008, USITC Publication 4000, May 2008.
- The Year in Trade 2007: Operation of the Trade Agreements Program, 59th Report, USITC Publication 4026, July 2008.
Other Government Resources