Textile Production Shows Increase

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