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Washington Outlook Archive

Textile Production Shows Increase

James A. Morrissey, Washington Correspondent

A federal government report that shows an increase in textile production over the past six months gives some signs of hope for the beleaguered US textile industry. The Federal Reserve's Industrial Output report in October shows that US textile production has increased by 2.4 percent in the past six months. Apparel production, which showed a similar gain of 2 percent, was the strongest since June of 1994.

While saying a number of market considerations contributed to the improvement, officials of the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition (AMTAC) attributed much of the improvement to the imposition of new quotas in imports of Chinese textiles and apparel. AMTAC Executive Director Auggie Tantillo said, “While there are certainly other market factors at play, these increases suggest that the safeguard quota cases approved by the US government earlier this year and the finalization of an agreement to limit the growth of US textile and apparel imports from China have had a positive effect on the US textile industry.

Despite the recent improvements, this has not been a good year for US textile manufacturers. In the first six months of this year, the industry lost 26,000 jobs, and more than 20 plants were shuttered and imports from all sources have risen to more than 38 billion square meter equivalents - an increase of nearly 9 percent over 2004 at this time.

November 2005