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."
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)