Not since NAFTA has US manufacturing been such a hot topic in politics. There are a handful of substantive issues that have come to define this election cycle, one being the loss and possible return of US manufacturing jobs in sectors from automobiles to apparel.
In the 1960s, more than 95 percent of apparel bought in the US was made in the US. But increased free trade with China, starting in the 1980s, pushed that number down significantly. In 2015, 97 percent of clothes sold in the US were imported, not just from China, but also from other offshore manufacturing centres like Bangladesh, Vietnam, India and Indonesia.
Now, after years of marketing messages proclaiming product quality and local job creation amongst the benefits of American-made goods, voters are asking: Doesn’t bringing large swaths of manufacturing activity back to the US make sense, for consumers, the economy and society at large?
BoF examines the disadvantages and opportunities of producing clothing in America [Link in bio]. #Election2016