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Unifi Jassin-O39 Rourke Seminars Show CBI At Work

Unifi, Jassin-O'RourkeSeminars Show CBI At WorkA series of seminars hosted by Unifi Inc., Greensboro, N.C., and New York City-based Jassin-ORourke Group LLC, and designed to help companies understand how to profitably market the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI), recently took place in Greensboro, New York City, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. U.S. knitters, weavers and converters of polyester- and nylon-content fabrics, and CBI apparel manufacturers learned how to better leverage CBI advantages through the supply chain.Michael Delaney, senior vice president, Unifi, noted that 60,000 textile jobs have been lost due to a consumption slowdown and import growth. However, U.S. textile market potential is getting bigger, not smaller. The increase was 7 percent in 2001. Asias market share dropped 70 percent, while market share from Mexico and CBI countries increased between 30 and 40 percent.Stewart Little, senior vice president, Unifi, said apparel manufacturers and retailers have no conception of the CBI advantages in cost and quick turnaround. Mary ORourke, managing director, Jassin-ORourke, said the CBI can drive growth for companies through elimination of tariffs on textile apparel imports that contain U.S.-manufactured fabrics and yarns. U.S. companies that leverage CBI advantages through the supply chain can demonstrate to customers down stream an edge over Asian prices and time-to-market.Turnaround time is faster from Honduras, ORourke pointed out. Retailers and manufacturers can eliminate up to six weeks of lead time. With shorter order cycles and quick replenishment of stock and reorder options, companies can carry decreased inventories.ORourke stated the view that the domestic textile industry is commodity-oriented, requires large minimums and long lead times is no longer true. There is also a misconception that Asian fabrics are cheaper.Eight Caribbean countries represent 95 percent of the apparel business, each having its special niche. Today, the experts agree, manufacturers and retailers must be shown how a full-package apparel program is an economic advantage and a cost saver. February 2002




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