WASHINGTON — China surpassed the rest of the world in apparel and textile import growth in July, and the first seven months of the year, even as it comes under intensifying pressure to curb shipments to the U.S.

China’s 36.2 percent apparel and textile import gain in the month — to 1.09 billion square meters equivalent — against July 2003 far outpaced the overall import growth of 4.56 percent to 4.2 million SME for the twin categories, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. China’s July increase came overwhelmingly in categories of textiles and “made-ups,” such as luggage and tents no longer under quota, as it has since 2002, said Ross Arnold, acting director of the Agreements Division of the Commerce Department’s Office of Textiles and Apparel.

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