WASHINGTON — The House Appropriations Committee has approved a $56.9 billion spending bill and instructed the administration to extend a Vietnam apparel monitoring program for a year and expand it to include apparel and textile imports from China.
The surprise move on Wednesday could be a roadblock for apparel retailers and brands that anticipated quota-free trade with China and less scrutiny of imports from Vietnam.
The U.S. textile industry has made its top policy initiative either securing a legislative solution or help from the administration to restrain imports from China and Vietnam, two of the biggest suppliers to the U.S. The countries shipped a total of $36.9 billion worth of textiles and apparel to the U.S. in the year ended April 30.
"The Committee expects [the International Trade Administration, a division of the Commerce Department] to undertake apparel import monitoring, including socks, focusing on prices of imports from China and Vietnam, and whether their state-run industries are illegally pricing products and dumping in the U.S. market," according to a report accompanying the legislation.
The spending bill, which funds Commerce and the U.S. Trade Representative's Office for the 2009 fiscal year, will go to the House floor for a vote. The companion bill in the Senate does not include the monitoring provision, which means the two bills would have to be reconciled in conference. If the bills are not completed this year, the next Congress will have to draft and introduce new measures next year.
"This is a strong posture on the part of the U.S. Congress in regard to this critical issue confronting the U.S. textile industry, namely what happens when China becomes quota free on Jan. 1, 2009," said Auggie Tantillo, executive director of the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition. "A need for this language is supported by the incredible surge that we saw in 2005 when quotas were first removed on China."
Although Commerce has not found adequate evidence of dumping in the imports from Vietnam, Tantillo said the program has served as a disincentive for producers to slash prices. The Vietnam monitoring program was initiated to see whether goods were being sold in the U.S. below market value or the cost of manufacturing.The bill was sure to cause concern among apparel sourcing executives who have been trying to recalibrate their strategies in anticipation of the U.S. lifting quotas on Chinese apparel and textile imports at year's end and the expiration of the Vietnam monitoring program. The total value of textile and apparel imports under quota from China was $8.65 billion for the year ending April 30, representing 27 percent of the total annual apparel and textile imports from China.
The Vietnam monitoring program is set to expire at the end of the Bush administration in January and officials have said they will not renew it.
“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)