China accounted for 35 per cent of the apparel imported into the United States for the 12-month period ending October 31. However, imports from China was down nearly seven per cent in the one-year period. Fewer clothes were imported this year compared to last year as US apparel brands and retailers headed to lower-wage countries such as Vietnam, India and Bangladesh for their production.
The most favored country for apparel making after China is now Vietnam. Apparel exports from Vietnam to the US grew 3.7 per cent in the one-year period ending October 31. That accounted for 13 per cent of all apparel imported into the United States. Bangladesh is also growing in importance when it comes to apparel manufacturing. Big retailers such as H&M and Zara have consistently headed to this extremely low-wage country to have goods produced in big factories.
For the one-year period ending in October, Bangladesh’s contribution to total apparel imports of the US was about 6.5 per cent. That was about the same as the previous year. India only exported 3.65 billion dollars in apparel to the United States, but when factoring in fabric and other textiles, the total jumped to 7.2 billion dollars.