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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

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