ITF urges TN apparel sector to focus on US market ‘aggressively’

LN Revathy Coimbatore | Updated on September 16, 2020

US-China trade conflict could prove an opportunity for Indian textile entrepreneurs to boost exports

The trade restrictions imposed by the US on Chinese apparel and other products is viewed by textile entrepreneurs here as an opportunity that India should exploit and pursue aggressively now.

Urging textile enterprises to capitalise on the opportunity, Prabhu Dhamodharan, Convenor, Indian Texpreneurs’ Federation (ITF) said “many of the textile clusters in Tamil Nadu have demonstrated high levels of quality, consistency, on-time delivery, sustainable and green manufacturing practices apart from empowering rural folks. It is therefore the most appropriate time for the clusters here to form an alliance, project the strength of the sector, market it well — as an alternative to China in the apparel sector”.

“Chinese share in US apparels had started to slide since 2018; last year alone the decline was as steep as ₹20,000 crore for China in the apparel segment and the fall seems steeper in the post-Covid period,” he said.

“US apparel imports dropped by 30 per cent during the first seven months of 2020 due to Covid; of this, the decline in the import of Chinese apparel is significant at 49 per cent. Further, the imposition of trade restrictions (by the US) on Chinese apparels and products could open up opportunities for other countries including India. The opportunity in the textile segment alone is estimated at $10 billion,” he added.

“Indian apparel clusters should take advantage of the situation It is the right time to step up efforts with the US and focus on market diversification.”

“Vietnam’s duty-free access (after the European Union-Vietnam FDA) could create pressure on India’s apparel exports to the EU. But these competing countries (Vietnam and Bangladesh) do not have an FTA with the US as of now,” Dhamodharan explained.

Published on September 16, 2020

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