Vietnam winning greater share of US apparel imports

Vietnam’s share of US apparel imports has benefited as China’s share in the market is slipping in the wake of the Sino-US trade war. 

According to the US Department of Commerce’s Office of Textiles and Apparel, Vietnam’s share increased to 14.26 per cent last year, up from just 7.72 per cent in 2010.

Michelle Russell, apparel correspondent at GlobalData, says Vietnam’s garment sector has clearly benefited from the ongoing tit-for-tat trade spat between the US and China during the last two years as producers and buyers diversify their supply chains.

Brands have chosen Vietnam and Bangladesh as its alternative sources as additional tariffs are imposed on most garment imported from China. 

China’s share of the market slipped from 41.9 per cent in 2018 to 39.9 per cent last year, on top of a year-on-year decline in the unit prices of apparel imported into the US.

“Despite China remaining the cheapest of the top-10 garment supplier countries, the country’s share of US imports declined last year. Meanwhile, Vietnam is becoming something of a global manufacturing powerhouse and has clearly reaped the benefits thanks to its younger and lower-wage workforce, its preferential trade policies and its logistics – the country boasts 14 major ports,” said Russell. 

The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) between Vietnam and the European Union, which will remove most tariffs between the two parties over the next 10 years, has been approved by the European Parliament this week. However, Vietnam still faces challenges ahead that will require Vietnam to gradually change the structure of its economy.


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