IMPORT & EXPORT
By Deborah Belgum | July 2, 2015
One of the biggest free-trade agreements ever negotiated by the United States could be a done deal by the end of this year. But it is still unclear how the Trans-Pacific Partnership will affect textile and apparel makers that manufacture in the United States.
The protracted contract negotiations between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association, which employs the longshore workers at 29 West Coast ports, have stalled until Dec. 2. Charges of work slowdowns at the ports have continued.
The silver lining in the West Coast port-congestion problem is this: There will be tons of discounted winter merchandise for sale after the holiday shopping season.
Apparel importer Ashok Kumar is patiently waiting in Los Angeles for six to eight containers of sweaters and jackets to arrive by boat from Asia to stock his various clothing stores in downtown Los Angeles.
Adding to the cargo congestion at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, longshore workers allegedly started imposing a work slowdown at the largest port complex in the United States.
The American Apparel & Footwear Association and the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Textiles and Apparel have signed a memorandum of understanding to better understand what is happening in the apparel and textile industries in China.
For nearly two weeks now, Ram Kundani has been waiting to receive seven cargo containers filled with tops, sweaters and dresses shipped from Bangladesh, China and Indonesia to the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
A fire that engulfed an old wooden wharf nearly the length of three football fields at the Port of Los Angeles was completely contained by early morning on Sept. 24, port officials said.
Customs officials have stopped pushing for major adjustments to the so-called “First-Sale Rule,” which would have required handing over a boatload of documents to validate where goods were made and at what price.
Bob Wysocki of Sears Holdings complained that sometimes it takes as long as one to two weeks to extract his merchandise out of the port complex in Los Angeles and get Sears’ cargo containers on a train, where it might take another two weeks to reach a warehouse.
The long and drawn-out contract negotiations between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association took a giant step forward.
China may be the apparel factory to the world, but one day Africa could be right up there with the powerhouse manufacturer.
China and Vietnam are still the top two providers of apparel and textiles to the United States, but Vietnam is growing quickly as an apparel powerhouse.
U.S. apparel and textile importers are rallying to push back a new proposal that would require more stringent record-keeping requirements to bring in goods under the so-called “First-Sale Rule,” which went into effect more than 25 years ago.
As contract talks between West Coast longshore workers and their employers continued into their 14th week, importers were playing it cautious and bringing in as much merchandise as they could to fill holiday orders.
With contract negotiations still going on with West Coast longshore workers, apparel importers and retailers were pushing to land their goods before a potential work stoppage or port strike takes place.