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US textiles exports on growth track

The fundamentals for the US textile industry are sound. This is true even though some markets for US textiles and apparel were soft last year. The industry’s commitment to capital re-investment and continued emphasis on quality and innovation make it well-positioned to adapt to market changes and take advantage of opportunities.

Any sluggishness is due to factors beyond control, such as disruption in the retail sector caused by shifting of sales from brick and mortar outlets to the internet. Of the US exports of apparel and textiles last year, fabrics made up the largest portion of exports at 31 per cent. Cotton, wool and fine animal hair followed, accounting for 21 per cent, while apparel was 20 per cent. Man-made fibers were 15 per cent of exports, and home furnishings and non-apparel sewn products accounted for 13 per cent.

The United States is especially well-positioned globally in the fiber, yarn, fabric and non-apparel sewn products markets; it was the world’s fourth largest individual country exporter of those products in 2016. Among the top three export markets for US apparel and textile goods were Mexico, Canada and China. Exports to NAFTA countries in 2017, accounted for 41 per cent of the total. The next largest share went to Asia, 30 per cent of the total.