Arlington, VA—The U.S. and Chinese governments may be on dicey terms, but two major fashion industry groups are in agreement.
During a recent half-day seminar on U.S./China trade relations at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in downtown Washington, The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) and the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Textiles and Apparel (CCCT) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to facilitate the exchange of trade and investment.
“The U.S./China trade relationship will grow in importance in the coming years, with manufactured and design fashion product flowing in both directions,” said Rick Helfenbein, chairman of AAFA. “This MOU ensures that we will be at the center of that discussion.”
“We look forward to strengthening trade and investment ties with the United States through this partnership with AAFA,” said Mr. Jiang Hui, chairman of CCCT.
The MOU will help facilitate the exchange of trade and investment information between AAFA and CCCT and their respective memberships. Among other things, it will create a forum to address issues of concern including: product safety, labeling, retail, and intellectual property.
“Through this MOU, we will amplify our voice and our global reach as we help our members and U.S. policy makers understand what is happening with our industry in China,” added Juanita D. Duggan, president/ceo of AAFA. “It’s a huge deal.”
China is the top supplier of both footwear and apparel to the U.S. market. China is also a growing market for U.S. made and branded apparel and footwear.
The China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Textiles and Apparel (CCCT), established in October 1988 is part of China’s Ministry of Commerce. CCCT is the leading national trade organization representing exporters and importers of textiles and clothing in China, with a membership of more than 12,000 companies. CCCT members– involved in the business of manufacturing, exporting, and importing all kinds of textile fibers, yarns, fabrics, clothing, home textiles, industrial textiles, and accessories –operate in 31 provinces and municipalities throughout the country. CCCT members cover a majority of Chinese traders, manufacturers, and foreign-funded businesses in the textile and clothing industry, representing more than 70% of China’s import and export trade in textile and clothing.