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Articles Of Interest
Imports Surge Continues in April
US & China Disagree Over Quotas
Saks Continues Investigation
Shoe Makers Worried
US Asks CAFTA for Support
Online Retailers Targeting Women
Hindu Shoes Spark Boycott
Limited Leans Towards Lingerie & Beauty Products
Items Sold for
Cambodia's Underwear Thieves
Barbie Costumes Made With Child Labor?
May Retailer's Review
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June 15, 2005
Women's Wear Journal
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Imports Surge Continues
Data released by the US Commerce Department shows that
US imports of textiles and clothing from China continued to surge in April.
For the first four months in 2005, China’s exports are up by 1.46 billion square
meters (SME) equivalent.
China exported 501 million garments during the month.
Exports in key product areas such as cotton trousers and knit shirts continued to increase at 1,500% or more.
According to figures from the International Trade Commission, Chinese exports of garments have been
running at a rate of 16 million garments per day since quotas were removed on January 1st.
“China has managed to double its share of the US apparel import market in the first four months of 2005 compared
to the same time period in 2004,” said American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition (AMTAC) executive
director Auggie Tantillo.
In an attempt to stem the surge the US last month imposed safeguards on seven categories of Chinese
textile and apparel imports. Embargoes in these major categories could come into force as early as July.
Shoe Makers Worried
The EU says that it has taken on board European footwear producers’
concerns over increases in Chinese shoe imports since January.
According to the EU, its executive body the EC is considering the suggestion that the increase is
substantially disrupting EU manufacturers’ business, and added that it would be quick to consider any requests
from shoe producers for an anti-dumping investigation.
The EU released figures on Wednesday showing a surge in shoe imports from the country since global trade quotas
ended at the start of 2005.
Between January and April 2005, China shipped 162 million pairs of shoes and slippers to Europe, compared
to just 24m in the same period last year, mirroring similar increases of textile exports to Europe since
Bangladesh and Vietnam
Sign Trade Deal
The Vietnam Textile and Garment Association and the
Bangladeshi association of textile and garment businesses have signed a deal to boost
cooperation in trade between the two countries.
Vietnam’s clothing and textile industry is the country’s second largest
foreign currency earner, while Bangladesh’s clothing and textile sector makes up 40% of
its production value, providing over 4 million jobs.
Two models wear outfits completely made out of licorice
in the western town of Koblenz, during the
'Haribo fashion show'
US And China Disagree
Chinese and US trade officials seem to have made little headway at a meeting to discuss measures to stem a flood
of Chinese textile exports into the American market.
The meeting between US trade representative Robert Portman and China’s commerce minister Bo Xilai ended
with China dubbing US moves to impose new restrictions on textile imports as “trade protectionism.”
The spat came on the sidelines of a gathering of trade officials from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
(APEC) forum on South Korea's resort island of Jeju.
Portman said America had acted within international trade rules last month when it imposed restrictions on a
variety of Chinese imports – including men’s and boy’s shirts, manmade
fiber trousers and combed cotton yarn.
Mr Portman will travel to Beijing on Saturday to join US commerce secretary Carlos Gutierrez and meet with
China's Vice Premier Wu Yi over the textile dispute.
China also faces increasing pressure over the state-set exchange rate of its currency, the yuan, which helps it
to export goods cheaply.
The US Senate is due to vote on a bill later this year which would impose a 27.5% tariff on all Chinese imports
to the US unless China removes the currency peg within six months.
Carrefour Responsible for
The world’s second biggest retailer, Carrefour, has been attacked for failing to take necessary steps to ensure
worker safety in the wake of the Spectrum factory disaster in Savar, Bangladesh, that left 83 workers
Neil Kearney, General Secretary of the International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers’ Federation, said:
“Carrefour has been unable to explain how it could possibly consider that conditions at Spectrum were
“It wasn’t just that the company built a four-story building on a swamp and then added another five flours
without bothering to seek planning permission. There were many other issues, too. The company’s record on
health and safety and working hours was appalling.”
Laborers had noticed cracks in the walls on the morning of the incident but were told to continue working.
“It is unforgivable that not only did Carrefour fail to notice these problems,
it has since not bothered to try to learn the lessons of Savar in order to ensure worker
safety in its supply chain”, Kearney added.
Kearney is currently in Bangladesh as part of a mission to establish what action must be taken in the aftermath
of the disaster, in terms of both structural investigations and arrangements for compliance with
national and international labor standards.
Penalties Worth $252,610
California Garment Shops
California’s Department of Industrial Relations has
issued $252,610 worth of penalties to Los Angeles and San Diego garment shops after conducting unannounced
inspections of employer compliance with state workplace rules.
The Department of Industrial Relations' Labor Standards Enforcement and Occupational Safety and Health
departments conducted the sweep in cooperation with the California Employment Development Department and the US
Department of Labor.
Teams of investigators from the partner agencies visited
the targeted businesses looking for labor law violations. Companies are identified for inspection
based upon past complaints, referral from other state and local agencies and from anonymous tips from
legitimate employers concerned about unfair competition.
Forty companies employing a total of 609 employees were visited, resulting in 17 companies being in total
Penalties were issued for reasons such as a lack of itemized wage statements, improper payment for overtime,
not keeping payroll records, and failing to have a garment manufacture license.
JC Penney To Increase
US department store operator JC Penney Company is aiming
to grow its sourcing of clothing and textiles from India by five times from $150 million to $800m by 2009.
A senior JC Penny official stated that JC Penny is adding more vendors from all parts of the world, India
still remains as favorite outsourcing destination for global retail majors due to easy availability of
material and better product development abilities.
JC Penney has partnerships with more than 30 retailers in the Indian region
where your competitors are.
email: Jim @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Saks Continues Investigation
of Vendor Payments
US retail group Saks Inc says it is carrying out a more intensive investigation
than initially planned into vendor payments at its Saks Fifth Avenue division.
The company said that its audit committee would look over when markdown allowances were logged, and whether
or not suppliers were falsely charged for not following Saks’s rules on logistics, billing or transportation.
Saks will also look at whether any over-collections of markdown allowances
were made in merchandise segments not included in the committee’s previous
Suppliers give stores markdown money to compensate for goods that don’t
sell, causing bigger than expected reductions.
Saks reported in May that it had laid off its chief accounting officer along with
other key officers after an internal probe found that $20 million was illegitimately taken from Vendors between 1999 and 2004.
The Saks group is also being probed by the Securities and Exchange Commission and US Attorney's Office in New
Actual Australian Court
Case of the Pregnant Lady
A lady about 8 months pregnant got on a bus. She noticed the man opposite her was smiling at her. She immediately moved to another seat.
He seemed more amused. When on the fourth move, the man burst out laughing, she complained to the driver and he had the man arrested.
The case came up in court. The judge asked the man (about 20 years old) what he had to say for himself. The man replied, "Well your Honor, it was like this: When the lady got on the bus, I couldn't help but notice her condition.
She sat under a sweets sign that said, "The Double Mint Twins are coming!" and I grinned. Then she moved and sat under a sign that said, "Logan's Liniment will reduce the swelling", and I had to smile.
Then she placed herself under a deodorant sign that said, "William's Big Stick Did the Trick", and I could hardly contain myself.
BUT, your Honor, when she moved the fourth time and sat under a sign that said, "Goodyear Rubber could have prevented this
.......I just lost it."
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