Economic recovery on track? US textiles & apparel imports up by 28.1% in January 2022

In 2020, the US textile and apparel imports had decreased sharply, mainly on account of the Covid-19 pandemic induced disruption, to $89.6 billion compared to imports of $111.1 billion in 2019.

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March 17, 2022

Months after the Covid-19 pandemic wreaked havoc across economies, the import of textiles and apparel by the United States of America continues to grow at a high rate. In the first month of 2022, it rose by 28.1% to $10.2 billion as compared to $7.9 billion in January 2021. 

With a 27.8% share, China continues to be the largest supplier of textiles and clothing to the US, followed by Vietnam with a 13.5% share, as per a report by Fibre2Fashion.  In January 2022, apparel consisted of high quantities of textiles and garments imports made by the US and was valued at $7.5 billion, while non-apparel imports accounted for $2.6 billion, as per the latest Major Shippers Report, released by the US department of commerce.

Among the top ten apparel suppliers to the US, imports from Indonesia, India, China, Pakistan, and Bangladesh shot up by 57.8%, 53.4%, 47.1%, 44.4% and 45.5% year-on-year respectively. Whereas, in the non-apparel category, among the top ten suppliers, imports from Cambodia, Italy and South Korea soared by 53.2%, 38.2% and 37.9% respectively.

The US textile and apparel imports consists of cotton products and man-made fibres. Reportedly, cotton products were worth $4.5 billion, while man-made fibre products accounted for $5.2 billion, followed by $246.9 million of wool products, and $229.2 million of products from silk and vegetable fibres.

In 2020, the US textile and apparel imports had decreased sharply, mainly on account of the Covid-19 pandemic induced disruption, to $89.6 billion compared to imports of $111.1 billion in 2019. But imports rebounded again in 2021 to surpass the pre-pandemic level and ended at $113.9 billion.

Earlier in 2021, the Trump administration had announced an import ban on all cotton products from western China’s Xinjiang region over allegations that they are made with forced labor from detained Uighur Muslims, Reuters reported. U.S. Customs and Border Protection told the news agency that the order applied to raw fibers, apparel and textiles made from Xinjiang-grown cotton and it estimated that about $9 billion of cotton products were imported from China into the United States in the past year.


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