“Textile jobs are not going to China – textile jobs are going, period.” (142) This is the one of a couple memorable quotes. In a chapter all about the unanticipated effects of import quotes and government subsidies there are a few facts which really stand out.
One is that textile and apparel import quotas cost the United States economy between $7 and $11 billion per year. I’m not exactly clear on who it cost but we’re led to believe it is both the apparel manufacturers and consumers.
An even more amazing idea is that the quotas actually benefit developing countries. Pietra tells us that in Chinese factories lying about country of origin is rampant. Some garments are made in China but processed in other countries that have space available in their allotted quotas. This space, however, has a cost to the Chinese factory, which ultimately increases the price to American consumers. All in all, it seems like the only people who are consistently benefitting from all of the quota and subsidy negotiations are the lobbyists who have lots of lobbying to do all year round.
This is part of a chapter by chapter reaction to The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy: An Economist Examines the Markets, Power, and Politics of World Trade.
- Introduction to the T-Shirt Travels Review
- Chapter 1: Cotton and T-Shirts
- Chapter 2: Cotton, T-Shirts and Technology
- Chapter 3: Tees and Dream Teams
- Chapter 4: T-shirts and Eskimos
- Chapter 5: Apparel and the Industrial Revolution
- Chapter 6: T-Shirt Globalization
- Chapter 7: The Snarling Army
- Chapter 8: Are T-shirts Actually Too Expensive?
- Chapter 9: T-Shirt Quotas
- Chapter 10: Lifecycle of a T-shirt
- Chapter 11: Final Chapter – Final Thoughts