For the year through July, US imports of Vietnamese textiles and apparel increased by 5.36 per cent year over year. In 2016, US imports were a 2.27 per cent increase over 2015. However, worker’s wages and logistics costs have been rising, putting garment exporters in Vietnam under pressure, particularly in the face of fierce competition from regional rivals like Bangladesh, Myanmar and Cambodia.
Competitors have enjoyed preferential policies from their governments—including things like tax breaks to boost exports—where Vietnam hasn’t had as many perks. They’ve also enjoyed preferential trade status from major trade partners like the US and EU. Vietnam aims at exporting roughly $30 billion worth of textiles and garments in 2017, with the US taking 50 per cent of that total, followed by the EU with 20.5 per cent, Japan with 19.5 per cent and Korea with 7.5 per cent.
For the year through August, the country’s exports reached $19.8 billion but the target may not be reached since the bulk of the country’s big orders have likely already been placed. Legal amendments will be drafted to help domestic garment producers cut costs. Domestic textile and garment exporters will be supported with things like administrative procedures to help ease some of the other obstacles to competition.