Chinese textile and apparel exports to the US fell 25 per cent in the first half of 2019. The main reason is the tariffs slapped by the US on Chinese imports. Losses for Chinese exporters have increased over time. Chinese exporters may have started to bear part of the costs of the tariffs in the form of lower export prices at around eight per cent below comparable products. Exports of articles of apparel and clothing accessories or leather or composite leather – which faced a ten per cent punitive tariff in September 2018 — declined by 20 per cent January to June 2019 compared to the first half of 2018. Similarly, Chinese shipments of knitted and crotched fabric dropped 32 per cent in the first six months of 2019. By comparison, the largest apparel export of China to the US that was not subject to additional tariffs was jerseys, pullovers, cardigans, waistcoats and similar articles, knitted or crocheted.
The tariffs are hurting not only Chinese exporters but American consumers, who are bearing the brunt of the measures in higher prices. A lose-lose trade war is not only harming the main contenders, it also compromises the stability of the global economy and future growth.