Rivoli Questions Ch.
Learn the route that Chinese t-shirts make to Miami
and Sherry Manufacturing.
Shanghai-western coast of Mexico-Panama
2. What does
Rivoli mean when she says that the US
has lost in the "race to the bottom" and is "not going
The textile and apparel industry (TAAI) has largely deserted the US
for lower wages in China.
Only an extensive, complicated, and, some would say, hypocritical system of
protections allow the last remnants of the industry to survive in the US.
3. What is
the AMTAC and what is the
losing battle that they are fighting?
politicians and free trade in your answer.
AMTAC = American Manufacturing Trade
Action Coalition. AMTAC lobbies politicians on issues related to The US
TAAI. Specifically, AMTAC hinders free trade by trying to protect the
TAAI from competition with China
and other countries.
4. What did the "alphabet army" demand of the Bush administration? They
wanted quotas that restricted Chinese textile
and apparel imports. When? July
2003 Why? From 2000 to 2004
the US TAAI
lost 1/3 of their remaining jobs.
What was the result? Bush restricted
imports from China.
How did the Nov.
1, 2004 deadline influence the Bush administration? 11/1/2004
was a few days before the presidential election and Bush did not want to lose
votes because voters in the TAAI had lost jobs to
5. Whose side would you
be on, Julia's or Augie's? Why?
6. How does Figure 7.1
demonstrate that Augie has been successful?
The graph shows that
during the period 1989-2003 Chinese apparel exports to
the world grew more than 400%, Chinese apparel exports to
the US grew
much more slowly.
7. You are a
Chinese free trade lobbyist. How do you use Figure 7.2 and Figure 7.3 to
support your argument that the US
has created unfair trade in cotton knit shirts?
is the world's largest country. Between
1989 and 2003, US imports of cotton knit shirts from Mexico,
the Caribbean and sub-Saharan Africa
grew much more rapidly and to higher levels than
those from China.
And, for 2003 the US
placed an import limit on China
that was less than Sri
Lanka's and only 1/4th of Vietnam's.
8. What is
the CBTPA? In your informed opinion, should it be
renewed in 2008? Why? Why not?
CBTPA = 2002 US-Caribbean Trade
Partnership Act. It allows tariff-free
imports of apparel manufactured in 24 Caribbean
9. Why does
politics instead of comparative advantage control textile and apparel
manufacturing in the US?
The US TAII
accounts for 5% of manufacturing employment. Employees = voters...and
10. In which US states is the textile industry
concentrated? 60% of it is in Georgia
and North and South Carolina
How has that
made the industry's political voice relatively strong? Mill owners and workers
and representatives share cultural traits and economic interests and are
relatively unified compared to other industries. In many congressional
districts the TAII provides a majority of the
manufacturing employment. This means that
congressional representatives are beholden to the TAAI.
How is that
different from the geographic distribution of the US
retail industry and their political voice? The US
retail industry employs more people than the TAAI but they are scattered
throughout the 50 states and do not represent a cohesive block of voters.
11. How has
apparel manufacturing industry forced US presidents to
perform a difficult balancing act during the past 50 years? Use the terms
free trade, Thurmond and Reagan in your answer.
During the past 50
years US presidents have promoted free trade, all the while protecting the
TAAI, Ronald Reagan included. This has forced them to balance domestic
politics with global politics. Reagan needed the southern vote to win in
1980. From 1976-1979 textile and apparel imports into the US
had increased by 50% and caused TAAI plant closings in the US
south. Reagan promised South Carolina
senator Strom Thurmond that he would limit Asian imports if Thurmond would help
deliver southern votes to Reagan.
Thurmond did. Reagan won the election, but did not keep his promise.
Asian imports continued to soar.
12. What is
the MFA? What is the
GATT? What is the relationship between
MFA = Multifiber Agreement, passed in
1974 and extended in different versions until 2004, which places quotas on US
imports of textiles and apparel.
GATT = General
Agreement on Tariffs and Trade which is an international agreement that is
designed to reduce trade protection and make it freer.
initiated the GATT and MFA and the two agreements are diametrically opposed.
What will be the consequences of phasing out the MFA?
Trade in textiles and apparel would be
freer. Clothes would be less expensive in the US.
The US TAAI
Which countries would
benefit? Those that produce the least expensive high quality textiles
and apparel. Which
would suffer? The US.
Smaller countries, protected by the MFA, but which cannot compete with China.
Why? Job losses in
TAAI. But...clothes would be cheaper for US consumers. It's