With Chinese share in US apparel declining since 2018, the Indian apparel clusters should take advantage of the situation and focus on this market, Indian Texpreneurs Federation (ITF) said on Wednesday. Year 2019 witnessed around Rs 20,000-crore market share loss for China in the apparel segment alone and post-COVID- 19, the declining trend has been accelerating. This may create a 10-billion US dollar opportunity in the American markets in the segment alone for other countries, including India, ITF said. “After the EU-Vietnam FTA (free trade agreement), Vietnam”s duty-free access may create further pressure on our apparel exports to the EU,” ITF convenor Prabhu Dhamodharan said.
However, he said, India and competing nations like Vietnam and Bangladesh have a level-playing field in the USA because all of these countries do not have an FTA with America as of now. Due to COVID-19 implications, the overall US apparel imports dropped by 30 per cent in the first seven months of 2020, while their import of Chinese apparel dropped by 49 per cent. Moreover, reports about recent US”s action on trade restrictions on Chinese apparel and other products from one of the major textile regions – Xinjiang leads to a notion that it would accelerate the trend further.
“So, it”s the right time to step up efforts with US markets as a market diversification strategy,” he said and urged each and every textile enterprise in Tamil Nadu to explore US markets aggressively. As many of the clusters in Tamil Nadu have demonstrated quality, consistency, on-time delivery, best sustainable practices, green manufacturing practices, empowerment of rural workforce, it is time for the state textile clusters to form an alliance, project their strengths and market them well, Dhamodharan said