Focus On USA Should Be The Mantra For Indian Apparel Makers Now

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The Chinese share in US apparel imports had started declining since 2018. In particular, last year (2019) witnessed around Rs 20,000 crore market share loss for China in the apparel segment alone. Now – post-lockdowns, the declining trend is accelerating, according to Indian Texpreneurs Federation (ITF).

Due to Covid implications, the overall US apparel imports dropped by 30% in the first seven months of 2020; while US imports of Chinese apparel dropped by 49%. Moreover, the news about recent US actions in terms of trade restrictions on Chinese apparel and other products from one of the major textile regions – Xinjiang leads to a notion that it will accelerate the trend further, and is a clear sign of a shifting supply chain.

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“All together, this trend may create a US$ 10 billion opportunity in US markets in apparel segment alone for other countries including India,” according to an ITF statement. The ITF has urged Indian apparel clusters to take advantage of the situation and aggressively focus on the US market.

Vietnam is well poised to further its footprint in the EU
After the EU-Vietnam FTA, Vietnam’s duty-free access may create further pressure to India’s apparel exports to the EU. However, competing nations like India, Vietnam and Bangladesh all have a level playing field in USA because all of these countries do not have an FTA with the USA as of now.

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“So, it’s the right time to step up efforts in the US market,” believes ITF.

According to Prabhu Damodharan, Convenor, ITF, “Many of our clusters in Tamil Nadu have demonstrated high level of quality, consistency, on-time delivery, best sustainable practices, green manufacturing practices, empowerment of rural workforce.

Now it’s time for Tamil Nadu textile clusters to form an alliance; project their strengths and market it well to establish a strong TN textile sector and USA partnership as an alternative to China in apparel sector. We urge each and every textile enterprise in Tamil Nadu to explore US markets aggressively now.”

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