NEW YORK — Last week’s decision by the Department of Labor to radically revise the way it counts garment workers — a move that revealed the number of apparel-manufacturing workers in the U.S. was about 30 percent lower than previously believed — served to underline the continuing decline of domestic manufacturing.

The withering of the nation’s production base has gotten to the point where even the makers of high-end apparel, who typically were able to digest the higher costs of domestic production because of their higher prices, have begun to break into camps on the question of whether making clothing in the U.S. will remain a viable strategy for the years to come.

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