According to figures from a new paper by the US International Trade Commission (USITC), the talk of a ‘Made in the US’ resurgence in textiles may be premature. The figures show that after four years of decline, US textile shipments increased in 2017 to US$39.6bn, much of this – over 60 per cent – for the domestic market. However, this figure remained 3 per cent below the 2013 level. Textile exports also remained static. At US$10.6bn, US textile exports in 2017 were below the five-year high of US$12.1bn in 2014.
Total capital expenditures in plants and equipment for the textile and textile product sectors increased by 36 per cent during the 2013–16 periods, rising from US$1.6 billion in 2013 to US$2.1bn in 2016, the latest year for which data are available.
Employment in the textiles sector declined by 4 per cent to an estimated 126,000 in 2017. Moreover, the paper suggests labor productivity for yarns and fabrics – which accounts for most of the employment in the textiles sector – declined steadily during 2013–16.