According to data from the U.S. Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA), overall U.S. imports of textiles and apparel increased 7.3% in July to 6.24 billion square meter equivalents (SME) compared to a year earlier. In value, imports climbed 2.72% to $46.18 billion from a year earlier.
At the same time, U.S. exports of textiles and apparel increased 4.59% in the month to $13.59 billion, with apparel shipments rising 5.61% to $3.34 billion.
Year over year, imports of textiles from around the world grew 11.2% to 3.64 billion SME, while apparel exports were up 2.2% to 2.6 billion SME in July as retailers prepare to stock up for crucial fourth-quarter selling.
Among the top 10 suppliers of apparel to the U.S., Vietnam, Bangladesh and Cambodia were the big winners, with India and Pakistan also faring well, as importers spread out their sourcing in light of ongoing trade tensions between the U.S. and China.
The U.S. also imports more apparel from the Western Hemisphere, Africa and the Americas. Among countries in Central and South America and the Caribbean, Guatemala’s shipments rose 14.8% to $126.92 million, Peru’s increased 50 percent to $73.28 million, Haiti’s were up 15.1% to $81.78 million, and the Dominican Republic’s rose 7.3% to $73.05 million.
At the same time, imports from Kenya gained 99.4% to $47.7 million, Egypt’s shipments advanced 11.1% to $80.5 million, Madagascar’s increased 59.4% to $20.82 million and Ethiopia’s were up 167 percent to $9.9 million.
On the other hand, apparel imports from China were down 0.83% in value to $14.2 billion worth of goods in July, continuing a recent period of tepid or negative growth for the once-dominant supplier, although they bounced back a bit in volume, increasing 2.4% to 1.17 billion square meter equivalents (SME). Volume-wise, China saw its combined shipments rise 8.5% to 3.22 billion SME.
According to the Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the U.S. trade deficit that has been President Trump’s biggest main point in trade was $50.1 billion in July, up from $45.7 billion in June.