By  on January 2, 2007

WASHINGTON — Congress returns this week under the control of Democrats for the first time in 12 years and its new agenda is expected to reshape the fashion industry's business and sourcing strategies.

The Democrats' new goals for trade policy will drive some of the action on Capitol Hill early on and industry executives are closely watching which philosophy will prevail: free trade, which places an emphasis on lowering barriers for imports and increasing market access for U.S. exports, or fair trade, which focuses on protecting workers' rights overseas while preserving U.S. jobs.

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