Majority of USFIA Survey Respondents Expect TPP to Affect Business

The United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) recognizes the conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations on Oct. 5 in Atlanta.

"The Trans-Pacific Partnership represents an important opportunity for American fashion brands, retailers, importers, and wholesalers, who are already doing significant business in several TPP partner countries," says Julia K. Hughes, president of USFIA. "On behalf of our members, thank you to U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and his team for their many years of hard work to conclude this agreement."

"The fashion industry has been eagerly awaiting the completion of this agreement and we look forward to seeing the final text to see how it can benefit our members," continued Hughes. "We remain hopeful that the TPP will indeed be a high-standard agreement that recognizes the 21st-century global value chain and economic contributions of these companies, which work hard to create high-quality jobs in the United States and affordable, high-quality apparel products for American families," she added.

According to the 2015 USFIA Fashion Industry Benchmarking Study, which we released in June, we found that our members already source from five TPP partner countries: Vietnam, Peru, Mexico, Malaysia, and the United States. Nearly 80 percent of respondents said they expect the TPP to affect their business practices. However, the level of impact depends on the rules of origin and market access provisions; 83 percent called for abandoning the strict "yarn-forward" rule of origin, and 45 percent hoped the TPP short-supply list would be expanded.

"We understand the final agreement contains a yarn-forward rule of origin and limited short-supply list, though we remain hopeful it also will include many opportunities for fashion brands, retailers, importers, and wholesalers to expand their global businesses," concluded Hughes.

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