Title page for ETD etd-10142005-135751

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Foster, Helen Cecilia
URN etd-10142005-135751
Title US apparel imports from China in the context of MFA IV
Degree PhD
Department Clothing and Textiles
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Norton, Marjorie J. T. Committee Chair
Garman, E. Thomas Committee Member
Gurel, Lois M. Committee Member
Jones, Edward U. Committee Member
Moore, Carolyn L. Committee Member
Ritchey, Sanford J. Committee Member
  • Clothing factories China
  • Clothing and dress
Date of Defense 1990-12-05
Availability restricted

The purpose of this research was to analyze US apparel trade building up to and following the MFA IV renewal in 1986, so as to gain insight into the reasons for US apparel industry support of the new fiber inclusions, and to gauge effects of MFA IV on US apparel imports overall and specifically from the PRC. The study focused on the period 1978 - 1988.

Total imports from all suppliers (World) were examined by country of origin: China (PRC), and rest of world (ROW); fiber content: MFA IV-fiber or all fibers and whether knitted or woven construction. The imports were then examined to determine the impact of economic variables such as the exchange rate, and US personal apparel consumption expenditure (PCE). Imports were found to have increased from 1978 to 1987 and then to have declined in all categories except one from 1987 to 1988. The MFA IV, implemented in August 1986 was believed to have caused a reduction of import volumes after an initial lag period (expected in international trade). However, other factors were implicated in the trade reduction primarily the fall of the dollar. The dollar was strong through the early 1980s until its peak in 1985, it then declined for the rest of the study.

The one category which continued to increase after the trade restriction was items of MFA IV woven apparel. The reason for this continued increase is not clear but it is believed to be the absence of specific restriction, i.e., pure silk had not been included in bilateral agreements so it is possible that suppliers were switching the product mix to increasing quantities of the less restricted group. Also this would have been the case if the items were coming from new and/or unrestricted suppliers.

In conclusion, it is felt that the apparel import rate or increase was the primary concern and the factor that determined action not the actual volume of imports as the MFA IV-fibers were increasingly used in apparel production.

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