The Travels of a T-shirt in a Global Economy


TheTravels of a T-shirt in a Global Economy

TheTravels of a T-shirt in a Global Economy


Partiesharmed by increasing apparel imports from China

Thesewould include American textiles and apparel industries, theiremployees and the country at large. American textile and apparelindustries would be losing a share of their market in the long-termand short-term, as well as their profits. Employees, on the otherhand, would lose their jobs as these apparel and textile industriescrumble (Rivoli,2009).The country or government would experience an increase in the tradedeficit as more money would be used to pay for these imports.

Partiesbenefiting from increased apparel imports from China

Thesewould include the Chinese textiles and apparel producers, Americanconsumers, and U.S apparel importing firms. In the case of Chineseapparel producers, the increased markets means that there is anincrease in sales, profits and can, therefore sustain a higher numberof employees. United States consumers, on the other hand, are gettingthe same quality of apparel and textiles for a lot less since Chineseproducers have readily available labor, in which case they canexploit the economies of scale and produce high numbers of items fora lot less (Rivoli,2009).The importing firms, on the other hand, gain as the increase inimports would mean that they are reaping higher profits.

Thealphabet armies represent special interest in Washington as they werefighting for the restriction of imports from China so as to protectAmerican industries. The advantage of having them is that theAmerican industries would remain operational as not much competitionwould be offered. On the con side, however, these industries wouldproduce inefficiently as a result of low or no competition.

Aftergraduation, I would choose to work for Julia Hughes as she is forfree trade. This would introduce competition, which increasesinnovation, dynamism and efficiency in production.


  • The continued existence of the United States textile and apparel industry may be explained by their capacity to speak in one voice, in which case the government has no option but to listen.

  • The act of voting for free trade by a U.S Congressman may be seen as an “unnatural act” considering the number of votes that employees in these industries hold. Free trade would mean the crippling of United States industries, in which case the United States Congressman would be betraying his voters and limiting his chances of re-election (Rivoli, 2009).

  • The Jenkins Global Quota bill proposed that a global quota cap be imposed on U.S textile and apparel imports, in which case the United States would retain unilateral power for restricting imports. If passed today, the United States government would have other countries retaliating by inhibiting its exports. This would reduce the income from exports. Consumers would be forced to spend more on U.S products as less of products from other countries would be allowed in.


  • The decline in unemployment in the United States Textile manufacturing industries would be attributed to increased replacement of human labor by technology rather than competition from Chinese manufacturers. The reversal of this trend may be attributed to the increased profitability and revival of textile and apparel industries, as a result of their adoption of technology in manufacturing.

  • U.S high-technology textile and apparel manufactures today, like their traditional counterparts, still face inter-industry competition. Even in instances where they are protected from foreign competition, it is noted that they still have to compete with one another, in which case choosing not to mechanize would mean that they wither away.

  • The incorporation of technology in the United States textile and apparel industry has resulted in increased production and reduction in the cost of the same. However, it has also meant that the apparel and textile industry reduces its manpower, in which case its importance or influence politically is reducing. As much as there may be differing opinions, it is evident that technology will contribute to the industry’s ultimate revival. This is especially considering that it increases the capacity of the industry to compete in both the local and international markets without any protection from the government.


  • Protectionist dinosaurs launched the modern world through playing a role in the politics of the country. In this regard, not only did they have the numbers to determine the types of policies that were adopted but also they had the financial capability that they used to support their preferred candidates. For instance, Wal-Mart spent 1.6 million dollars in supporting federal candidates, making it one of the largest donors.

  • If I was working in the North Carolina textile industry, Obama’s letter would have helped in voting for him as it meant that my job was somehow guaranteed, at least for some time.

  • The “wink and nod” referred to the acceptance by Obama and other presidents to an array of suggestions and aggressive policies that the NTCO had requested, as well as the acknowledgement of the special case that was the textile industry (Rivoli, 2009). This protectionism was aimed at ensuring that the U.S textile interests were protected often so as to win the votes.


Rivoli,P. (2009).&nbspThetravels of a T-shirt in the global economy: An economist examines themarkets, power, and politics of world trade.Hoboken, N.J: John Wiley.