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U.S. Manufacturers Cut 3,300 Jobs in February

“I suspect that they will continue to lose jobs,” says an industry expert.

WASHINGTON — U.S. textile and apparel producers cut a seasonally adjusted 3,300 jobs from their payrolls in February, as the industry continued to face stiff foreign competition even with a new restriction on Chinese imports.

After years of job losses, domestic textile and apparel producers enjoyed some relative stability on the employment front in the fourth quarter. The sector also got some relief through a trade deal restricting 34 kinds of imports from China that went into effect at the beginning of this year, but goods covered under the pact represented only 13 percent of the country’s apparel and textile imports by volume in January.

“I suspect that they will continue to lose jobs unless there are some more, strong measures to protect their production from imports,” Charles McMillion president and chief economist at MBG Information Services, said of domestic manufacturers. “I suspect they’ll continue to lose jobs to net imports, as well as productivity gains.”

For complete coverage, see Monday’s WWD.