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On a Monday visit to Los Angeles, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Demetrio Marantis toured apparel manufacturing facilities and held meetings with fashion executives to discuss issues ranging from trade to manufacturing.
As part of President Obama’s initiative to boost domestic manufacturing, the Commerce Department is focusing on the fashion industry in particular to burnishing the Made in America brand. The Commerce Office of Textiles & Apparel calculated that US apparel and textile exports grew 13.7% to $22.4 billion in 2011 from 2010, but presumably we could still be doing better.
The past few decades have seen factories migrate overseas as free trade agreements open manufacturers to much cheaper labor markets. While that may help grow profits, it doesn’t square with the Commerce Department’s goals of doubling exports of American-made goods by 2014.
Representative Marantis didn’t have to stop and meet with the men’s underwear industry heads, however, because it’s already got a pretty strong showing in the Made in America category. You might be surprised at how many fan favorites are produced in the States: Andrew Christian, Freedom Reigns and Active Man to begin with, but Timoteo and Go Softwear as well.
Nevertheless, it couldn’t hurt to have a few more American hands make a few more American brands.
Image: Slick It Up