Study of economic, social and political dimensions of the textile & apparel sector in a global economy; implications for production, distribution and consumption of textile & apparel products in major world markets. (Prerequisite: TMD 303, ECN 201 &202)
REQUIRED TEXTBOOKS AND READINGS
- Going Global: The Textiles and Apparel Industry (1st ed) by Grace I. Kunz and Grace I. Kunz, Fairchild Publication (2007); ISBN-10: 1563673681
- The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy (2nd ed) by P. Rivoli, Wiley.
- Other required readings posted on Sakai
RECOMMENDED SUPPLEMENTARY READINGS
Textiles and Apparel in the Global Economy(3rd ed) by Kitty Dickerson, Prentice-Hall (1999)
The Apparel Industry by Richard Jones, John Wiley & Sons; 2nd Edition (2006)
Upon completion of the course, the student will be able:
- To comprehend the worldwide importance of the textile and apparel industry (including production, distribution, consumption, and trade) from economic, political and social dimensions;
- To understand the composition, restructuring, major development trends and competitive status of the U.S. textile and apparel sectors and to consider the domestic complex within the context of a global economy;
- To understand the textile complex in major regions of the world, including their stages of development, functions in the global apparel value chain and key market conditions;
- To analyze the unique trade policies for textiles and apparel and understand how they affect various segments of the industry (including manufacturers, retailers and consumers) at multiple levels (including multilateral, regional and bilateral);
- To increase awareness of the major cutting edge issues facing the world today and comprehend their potentials impacts on the future landscape of the textile and apparel sector;
IMPORTANCE OF THE SUBJECT
The textile and apparel industry is a thick textbook study far beyond fiber, yarn, fabric and clothing. It is THE industry that triggered the first Industrial Revolution, among those sectors that embraced globalization early and still plays a critical role in the global economy with cross-cutting economic, social and political influences in the 21st century. Some key facts about this sector today:
- Global presence: Textiles and apparel are produced in nearly ALL countries around the world, although in extremely diversified conditions. In 2011, the United States imported textiles and apparel from over 150 countries.
- Matters for both developing and developed countries: millions of people remain directly employed in the textile and apparel industries today, a good proportion of whom are females living in poor rural areas. For some developing countries, the textile and apparel sector accounts for 60%–90% of their total merchandise exports and provides one of the very few opportunities for local economic development. It is also estimated that each year textile and apparel imports help U.S. consumers save billions of dollars which greatly improve Americans’ living standard than otherwise would be.
- Trigger heated political and policy debates: Despite its global nature, textile and apparel might be the only sector other than agriculture that is so heavily regulated by trade policies & rules. Almost all critical bilateral, regional and multilateral trade policy debates nowadays are relevant to the textile and apparel industry, no matter for passing new free trade agreements, enforcing stricter labor & environmental standards, launching initiatives to open new overseas markets, renewing the trade adjustment assistance (TAA) and the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) programs or restricting imports in the protection of domestic companies producing the competing products.
- Dynamic: Textile and apparel industry in the 21st century is fundamentally different from the past, driven by the market environment changes, policy shift, application of new technologies and the business entrepreneurship. Moreover, changes and innovations never stop in this industry! It is widely believed that the deepening of the sustainability movement, long–term effect of the elimination of the quota system as well as the dual-speed recovery in the post-crisis era will jointly shape a brand new global textile and apparel industry in the years to come.