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Apparel Groups Call for TPA Approval
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Indian Cotton Import Duty
April International Lingerie Show
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July 15, 2008
Apparel Groups Call for
More than 100 representatives from across the US and Colombian textile, apparel and retail supply chain are
calling for immediate approval of the US/Colombia Trade Promotions Agreement (TPA) to ensure a
predictable trading relationship between the two countries.
Their concerns were outlined in a letter sent July 10 to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Speaker of
the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
In it, the group explained the importance of Colombia not only as a vital source for US imports, but as a
crucial export market for US cotton growers and US textile and apparel manufacturers.
"The US textile and apparel manufacturing industry still employs nearly 500,000 people in the United
States," said Kevin M Burke, president and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), which
helped organize the letter.
"These jobs are dependant on the $16bn worth of US-made textile and apparel product exported from the United
States each year - of which about 45% is bound for the Andean region, including Colombia, Mexico and Central
The existing trade relationship with Colombia currently rests on a temporary one-way preference program - the
Andean Trade Preference Act (ATPA) - that is under constant threat of expiration.
Congress narrowly averted a gap in benefits by approving a 10-month renewal for the ATPA, which
provides trade benefits to the Andean region, just days before the program was set to expire this past
A new expiration date is now looming at the end of this year.
To gain more predictability and develop a stronger relationship, US and Colombian businesses are pressing
to turn the current one-way temporary program into a permanent, reciprocal trade partnership.
In April, President George Bush submitted the US/Colombia Trade Promotions Agreement
(TPA) Implementation Act to Congress, paving the way to make current temporary trade programs permanent.
A model wears the Glamorous Sheer Spandex Mesh Long
Gown from Shirley of Hollywood's Red Carpet Collection
the International Lingerie
Fashion show on April 7,
2008 at the Rio, Las Vegas. Photo
by Studio Time
See more photos from the International Lingerie Fashion
Show on page 5
Wacoal's 'Top Solution' Bra
Intimate apparel brand Wacoal has introduced a new type of bra called 'Top Solution', which has been designed
for women who experience diminished body tone in the top portion of their breasts.
Top Solution has a supportive contour style with a strategically placed enhanced top cup using a sculpted
pad. It is available at retailers throughout the US in sizes from 32B to 38DD costing $62.00.
"Through careful research, Wacoal discovered that many women could not find a bra that fit correctly due to
their diminished top cup," explains Liz Smith, national spokesperson and fit expert for Wacoal.
"Until Top Solution, women with this breast shape had only two options: either to wear a push-up or an
"This innovative design is a testament of Wacoal's dedication to fit every woman with a perfectly fitting
Diminished top cup is a natural breast shape that challenges many women, the company said, but can also
be a result of pregnancy, weight loss or simply during the ageing process.
Indonesia's US Exports Decline
Declines in exports to the US have been driving Indonesian textile and garment exports into
difficulties - hitting its target of US$10bn in turnover for 2008.
According to figures released by Indonesia Textile Association (API), textile and garment exports of the
country to the US - Indonesia's largest market with 40% of total exports - saw deadlock after years of stable
and strong growth.
The US export declines are resulting from fierce competition from Vietnam and China's products.
To overcome these difficulties, Indonesian textile and garment manufacturers are looking to shift their
production to Laos, where they would enjoy lower cost labor and convenient material sources.
In 2007, Indonesia's textile and garment industry earned US$9.4bn exports turnover, recruiting over 1.8m
The CILA Award Fashion Show
India Cotton Import Duty
The Indian government has abolished the 14.7% import duty on raw cotton in an attempt to increase supplies
and lower domestic prices.
It has also eliminated a 1% export rebate, to try to stop companies exporting raw cotton and boost domestic
The decision was made on Wednesday, and follows a 35% surge in raw cotton prices over the past year.
Mothers Work to Restructure
In a bid to cut its annual costs by $5m, maternity wear retailer Mothers Work Inc unveiled plans to restructure
its business by axing the Mimi Maternity brand, streamlining its stores and inventories, and cutting
jobs at its Philadelphia headquarters.
Key to its proposals it intends to rename its 92 Mimi Maternity stores under its A Pea in the Pod or
Destination Maternity nameplates from next January.
As part of the changes the company will also streamline its merchandise, with the Mimi Maternity line being
re-branded as A Pea in the Pod starting with the spring 2009 range.
It will also develop a more upmarket A Pea in the Pod Collection.
The value-priced Motherhood Maternity merchandise brand and stores will not be affected by the changes.
After the restructuring, the company will still have 761 stand-alone stores. It also distributes its Oh Baby
by Motherhood collection through a licensed arrangement at Kohlís stores in the US.
Rebecca Matthias, president and chief creative officer, said: "We are simplifying our business model, cutting
overhead costs and streamlining our merchandise assortments to drive the best possible results both
during this difficult economic period and for the long term.
She added that the current multi-brand store nameplate structure is "somewhat confusing" and that streamlining
the merchandise assortments across all brands will give "a more shoppable store experience."
The company has not provided details on the number of jobs being cut, but says they will account for around
$0.5m of the $0.9m pre-tax expenses related to the restructuring.
In April, the retailer said it swung to a US$0.4m second quarter net loss, from a profit of $2.6m in the
same period last year.
Sales for the quarter fell 3.4% to $139.0m from $143.9m last time, the company said, with same-store sales down
Mothers Work reiterated its full-year guidance for net sales of $562.5m to $570.0m, down 2% to 3% over fiscal
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