The fashion world in the US is bracing for big changes. Donald Trump will probably call for a withdrawal from the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership. The countries that agreed to the TPP in 2015 were the US, Canada, Malaysia, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Singapore, Brunei and Vietnam.
But several footwear and apparel organizations — including the Footwear Distributors & Retailers of America and the American Apparel & Footwear Association — as well as footwear brands such as Nike have been vocal proponents of TPP, which promised to eliminate more than 18,000 taxes and other trade barriers, strengthen ties among member countries and increase economic growth.
Trump has also hinted that hefty tariffs could hit major importers, including fashion firms, in 2017. Apparel and footwear associations feel consumers would ultimately pay the consequences for Trump’s punitive tariffs and they predict far-reaching implications for innovation and growth at US firms in 2017. They say a tariff would hurt US companies and their workers to the extent that those tariffs get absorbed as extra costs in the supply chain. This will deny the ability of companies to invest in research and development or to expand and hire more workers. Trade experts fear that Trump’s trade policies could set the US up for a trade war.