1. China 

Imports: $14.07 billion, up 23.7 percent for 17.3 percent market share. Top products: cotton baby garments, miscellaneous cotton apparel. GDP: $6.449 trillion/$5,000 per capita.

Already the U.S.’s dominant supplier of textiles and apparel, China has been making strong market share gains even with quotas still in place. It’s universally regarded as the country most likely to experience growth in apparel exports after they are lifted. 2. Mexico 

Imports: $7.74 billion, down 4 percent for 9.5 percent market share. Top products: cotton pants, knit shirts. GDP: $941.2 billion/$9,000 per capita.

The economic prospects of the U.S.’s southern neighbor have changed dramatically over the past decade. When NAFTA took effect in 1994, Mexico’s share of the U.S. textile and apparel market grew dramatically. But China displaced it as the U.S.’s leading supplier of those goods in 2002 and Mexico’s market share has declined dramatically since.

3. Hong Kong 

Imports: $3.86 billion, down 1.2 percent for 4.7 percent market share. Top products: cotton pants, man-made fiber underwear. GDP: $213 billion/$28,800 per capita.

Since it reverted to Chinese control in 1997, Hong Kong has maintained a strong trading relationship with the U.S. Many of the city’s garment manufacturers have moved their factories onto the mainland, but Hong Kong still maintains a small cadre of high-end operations.4. India 

Imports: $3.53 billion, up 9.8 percent for 4.3 percent market share. Top products: cotton shirts, cotton underwear. GDP: $3.033 trillion/$2,900 per capita.

India has gained a measure of notoriety for attracting service jobs formerly performed in the U.S., such as telephone customer service centers. But the world’s second most populous nation is also home to a thriving apparel manufacturing industry, though its growth prospects are somewhat hindered by infrastructure problems, U.S. importers said.5. CanadaImports: $3.08 billion, down 1.2 percent for 3.8 percent market share. Top products: man-made fiber filament yarn, cotton fabric. GDP: $958.7 billion/$29,800 per capita.

Canada’s apparel and textile manufacturers have faced similar pressures to those that have decimated the U.S. industry, prompting the survivors to focus on high-end products and highly automated systems. A strengthening of the Canadian dollar versus the U.S. dollar over the past year has taken a further toll by making it harder for Canadian makers to sell their goods in the U.S.6. Vietnam

Imports: $2.61 billion, up 2 percent for 3.2 percent market share. Top products: cotton pants, man-made fiber apparel. GDP: $203.7 billion/$2,500 per capita.

Since the U.S. reestablished trading relations with Vietnam in 2001, that country’s share of the apparel and textile market has grow markedly. Vietnam pushed aside South Korea this year to become the U.S.’s sixth-ranked supplier of textiles and apparel. But the country is not a member of the World Trade Organization, which means it remains subject to import quotas.7. South Korea

Imports: $2.6 billion, down 0.8 percent to 3.2 percent market share. Top products: cotton knit fabric, man-made fiber blouses. GDP: $857.8 billion/$17,800 per capita.

South Korea’s share of the textile market has been steadily eroding in recent years, as it has been undercut by lower-cost rivals, including India and Vietnam, dropping it to the number seven spot. Major South Korean companies have adopted a two-pronged approach to remaining competitive, focusing their homeland production on high-end, high-tech goods and also opening factories in developing nations to produce lower-cost garments.

8. Indonesia

Imports: $2.54 billion, up 6.4 percent for a 3.1 percent market share. Top products: cotton blouses and pants, man-made fiber pants. GDP: $758.8 billion/$3,200 per capita.

Home to a thriving apparel industry, Indonesia has been gaining market share and rose from the ninth spot to eighth over the past year. The skill of the nation’s needle workers makes it an attractive sourcing choice, though social instability continues to pose a risk to importers.9. Honduras

Imports: $2.5 billion, down 1 percent to 3 percent market share. Top products: cotton shirts, cotton underwear. GDP: $17.55 billion/$2,600 per capita.

Honduras is the leading apparel producer in Central America by sales. It has attracted investment both by U.S. companies looking for cheaper offshore platforms and by Asian firms seeking a spot for quick-turn production. The proposed Central American Free Trade Agreement would grant it duty-free status, which would provide a competitive leg in addition to the end of quotas.10. Pakistan

Imports: $2.47 billion, up 12.5 percent to 3 percent market share. Top products: cotton knit shirts, cotton and man-made fiber furnishings. GDP: $318 billion/$2,100 per capita.

Pakistan has seen its apparel exports grow steadily in recent years, and it is becoming a significant supplier of cotton products. Since 9/11, the U.S. has needed Pakistan’s cooperation to track down al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, who is believed to have been hiding along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Pakistani officials have worked aggressively to gain trade benefits in exchange.NOTE: TRADE VOLUME FIGURES ARE FOR THE YEAR ENDED OCT. 31, THE MOST CURRENT DATA AVAILABLE. PERCENTAGES OF CHANGE REFER TO PRIOR-YEAR PERIOD. GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT NUMBERS ARE CALCULATED USING THE PURCHASING POWER PARITY METHOD, WHICH ADJUSTS TO ACCOUNT FOR THE COSTS OF COMMON COMMODITIES WITHIN EACH COUNTRY.
SOURCES: U.S. COMMERCE DEPARTMENT, CIA WORLD FACTBOOK

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