WASHINGTON — Apparel imports rose 3 percent in October from a year earlier to 2.2 billion square meter equivalents, largely because of increased shipments from China, Vietnam and Honduras.
The rise boosted total apparel and textile imports by 3.5 percent to 4.9 billion SME, the third highest month on record. The goods were valued at $9.1 billion and contributed to the politically sensitive trade deficit, a key issue at high-level talks in Xianghe, China.
China's apparel shipments shot up 13.6 percent for the month to 841 million SME, with particular strength in cotton nightwear and man-made fiber dresses, as well as quota-restrained cotton sweaters, according to a Commerce Department report Wednesday. Imports from Vietnam increased 49.1 percent to 126 million SME, and shipments from Honduras were up 18.9 percent to 114 million SME.
Since there is little domestic apparel production left, the imports account for part of the gap between what the U.S. buys from other countries and what it sells, which has narrowed some with increased exports spurred by a weaker dollar. The total deficit in goods and services through Oct. 31 shrunk by 8.3 percent to $587 billion.
But the goods deficit with China grew 12 percent for the first 10 months of the year to $213.5 billion, on track to set a new annual record with a single country. Critics in Congress and in the domestic industry are pushing for a tougher stance against China, which they say is capturing a dangerous percentage of the U.S. import market by restraining the value of its currency and unfairly subsidizing its producers.
"Both the Democratic leadership in Congress and the Bush administration's Treasury Department deserve grades of F this year for failing to act to stop the problem," said Auggie Tantillo, executive director of the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, which represents textile producers.
Last month, China agreed to drop several subsides that were the subject of a U.S. legal challenge in the World Trade Organization, though little progress has been made on the currency policies, which critics say undervalue the yuan by as much as 40 percent.
Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, attending the meetings in China, emphasized increased U.S. exports as the solution for the deficit.
"The administration is committed to working with China to create a more open and balanced trading relationship, as well as ensuring the safety of imports crossing America's borders," Gutierrez said. "More trade and more competition are good for our economies and for the world."
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia