U.S. Tariffs on China Help Rescue American Textile Companies from Ruin

An employee at work inside the Nanette Lepore manufacturing facility located at 225 W. 35t
Atisha Paulson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

United States tariffs on China-made imports have helped rescue America’s left-behind textile industry from devastation after decades of free trade that came with mass layoffs of the nation’s textile workers.

Ferrara Manufacturing CEO Joseph Ferrara credited tariffs on Chinese imports for helping revive his manufacturing business based in New York City, New York. Those tariffs include those on textile goods from China first imposed by former President Donald Trump and continued by President Joe Biden.

“The private-label business was once a very strong, thriving business for us, and we’re starting to see that return because of duties and tariffs,” Ferrara told the Wall Street Journal.

The tariffs have been more than welcome news for America’s textile industry following decades of free trade policy that started with allowing China to enter the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001.

“Over the last 25 years, apparel had the largest decrease among all manufacturing industries with a decrease of 85 percent,” a Bureau of Labor Statistics report from 2017 revealed. “Over that period, employment in textile mills decreased 76 percent.”

Jay Self, president of Greenwood Mills, told the Journal that his family-owned manufacturing business once made denim for Levi Strauss but as a result of free trade policies, they have closed seven manufacturing facilities since 1998 and switched to making military uniforms for the U.S. Armed Forces.

“As a company in this country, you can’t reasonably compete against” China, Self told the Journal. “They just undercut our prices.”

Self and National Council of Textile Organization’s Kimberly Glas told the Journal that lots more must be done to help the American textile industry — including much steeper tariffs.

Though Biden has recently announced tariff hikes on Chinese imports, Trump has vowed to impose across-the-board tariffs on all foreign imports to protect American manufacturing and workers from low-wage countries.

“I will impose an across-the-board tariff on foreign-made goods,” Trump has said on the campaign trail. “I will also pass the Trump Reciprocal Trade Act. If China or any other country makes us pay a 100 or 200 percent tariff, we will make them pay a reciprocal tariff of 100 or 200 percent right back.”

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at jbinder@breitbart.com. Follow him on Twitter here


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