REPORT: TPP Trade Deal Threatens End to American-Made Clothing

American clothing manufacturing Getty
Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images
Washington, DC

The clothing and apparel industry is divided on its support of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal. But a newspaper says the trade pact doesn’t encourage consumers to purchase American-made clothing and could push fashion design activity overseas.

According to the New York Post, groups such as retailers and importers support the TPP because it will eliminate tariffs on imports, but local manufacturers oppose the trade deal.

“They’re not encouraging the consumer to buy more American-made products,” says CEO of R & C Apparel Ramdat Harihar.

Harihar’s business produces clothing for several designers such as Anna Sui and Nanette Lepore. “Retail companies like Forever 21 already deal strictly with imports,“ he told the New York Post. “If they’re cutting tariffs, they will manufacture more overseas.”

In terms of his own business, Harihar sees a possible long-term dislocation if TPP results in more design activity migrating overseas. “Right now everything is based in New York City,“ he says. “What are these students from Parsons [School of Design] and other places I hire from going to do? Move to China?”

The President of the U.S. Fashion Industry Association Julia Hughes told the New York Post that 80 percent of her group’s membership anticipates their business being impacted by the TPP. The TPP “represents an important opportunity for American fashion brands, retailers, importers and wholesalers, who are already doing significant business in several TPP partner countries.”

Several manufacturers in New York City oppose the trade deal that, according to the U.S. Trade Representative, will impact roughly 40 percent of the world economy.

As Breitbart News previously reported, the TPP is roughly 5,544 pages – longer than Obamacare and the failed Gang of Eight immigration bill combined.