The rebound in Made in USA apparel continued for the third year in 2013, with U.S. production up 6.2 percent, according to the American Apparel & Footwear Association’s ApparelStats 2014 report, released Friday.
A companion ShoeStats 2014 report also showed that footwear manufacturing was on the incline in 2013, with manufacturing increasing 8.5 percent.
“AAFA’s ongoing U.S. manufacturing initiative, including AAFA’s Made in USA database, helped our manufacturing members succeed and grow, not only in the U.S. market, but in selling U.S.-made clothes and shoes around the world,” said Juanita D. Duggan, president and chief executive officer of the AAFA.
Domestic apparel producers’ share of the U.S. market rose slightly to 2.6 percent from 2.5 percent in 2012. Despite this growth, 97 percent of all clothes and 98 percent of all shoes sold in the U.S. today are still imported, AAFA noted.
“The fact remains that the U.S. apparel and footwear market is dependent on international trade,” Duggan said. “Therefore, we call on Congress and the Obama administration to take immediate action on long-pending trade legislation and trade agreements to help the industry’s four million U.S. workers, and the country’s 316 million consumers.”
The U.S. is in the process of negotiating two regional trade agreements — the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal involving 11 other countries, including major trading partner Vietnam, and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the U.S. and the European Union.
The reports offer an historical perspective on the industry and examine the yearly business and trade information related to U.S. consumption, production, employment, imports and retail prices.
“The industry continued to fire on all cylinders in 2013,” Duggan said. “As a result, apparel and footwear contributed a record $361 billion to the U.S. economy in 2013, a bigger contribution than new cars, alcohol, toys, or practically any other industry. In fact, on average, every American…spent $1,141 to purchase 64 garments and seven-and-a-half pairs of shoes in 2013, more than any other country in the world.”