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Posted on October 10th, 2012, by

The development of apparel trade between the USA and Italy marks the growing cooperation between countries. At the same time, it should be said that recently Italy has reduced substantially its import of apparel to the USA. To put it more precisely, the last year the total import of textile to the USA from Italy reduced by 39.43% (Major Shippers Report, 2009), while the import of apparel to the USA from Italy dropped by 15.36% (Major Shippers Report, 2009). Obviously, the reduction of Italian import is very substantial and the total reduction of import of apparel industry to the USA from Italy dropped by more than 24% (Major Shippers Report, 2009).  Remarkably the drop of import in US dollars is less substantial than in SME, which has been just discussed above. In US dollars the import of textile has dropped by 16.42%, while apparel has dropped by 9.40% (Major Shippers Report, 2009).

At first glance, such a trend is quite disturbing, but it is necessary to remember about the current economic recession which steadily outgrows into a profound economic depression which affects the economic development of the USA as well as Italy. In this respect, the reduction of import of apparel and textile to the USA from Italy can be explained by several factors. First of all, the reduction of import is the natural effect of the substantial drop of buying power of Americans and the overall decrease of consumption. Secondly, the American apparel industry attempts to replace import by local manufacturers in order to make apparel and textile products more available to local customers. Furthermore, it is important to remember about the drop of production in Italy, which cannot keep increasing its export to the USA, when its production drops along with consumption in the USA. As a result, it is more profitable for Italian companies operating in apparel and textile industries to focus on domestic or European market, which is located closer to manufacturer and where it is easier to sell apparel and textile products due to lower costs of transportation and localization of production.

The difference in the drop in SME and US dollars can be explained by the inflation and devaluation of the US dollar, as well as by the qualitative changes in apparel and textile imported to the USA, which becomes more expensive than it used to be in the past. The latter allows slowing down financial losses, in spite of quantitative decrease of import.


The main types of apparel and textile export from Italy to the USA were wool and man-made fibers, while the export of cotton was insignificant. In such a way, the USA is oriented on both wool and man-made fiber which may be sold to American customers as well as used for the further manufacturing within the country.

The USA and Italy tend to eliminate fiscal barriers to encourage trade between countries. In fact, both countries are members of the WTO.

In addition, the countries have signed anti-counterfeiting agreement which stimulates the trade between countries and minimizes financial losses of both American and Italian producers. In general, the overall goal of bilateral agreements between the USA and Italy is to eliminate obstacles which may arise on the way of goods in the trade between countries.

The article “Downtown/River North”ť by Hamilton, focuses on the expansion of foreign companies on the US market, specifically, Chicago apparel market. To put it more precisely, the article reveals successes of Italian companies on the domestic market of the USA. In this respect, it is worth mentioning success of renowned Italian brands, such as Giorgio Armani, and sophisticated womenswear brand Marlowe, an Italian manufacturer of fine cashmere and suiting. Among other companies present in the market, it is possible to name B&B Italia. In fact, the article reveals the successful penetration of Italian brands and manufacturers in the US market, but, it is worth mentioning the fact that it is mainly brands operating in the premium segment of the market that are particularly successful in the USA.

The latter proves the orientation of American market on top quality and renowned Italian brands, while smaller and less popular companies cannot afford competition with local manufacturers and manufacturers from developing countries.

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