Donald Trump may present an opportunity, and difficulties, for the American textile and apparel industry. What the industry is looking forward to is getting rid of the yarn-forward rule, something that may happen. The Trans-Pacific Partnership won’t happen with a Trump administration. His campaign centered on a pledge to ‘Make America Great Again’ by renegotiating trade agreements, imposing tariffs as high as 35 per cent on imports from countries like China and preventing companies from manufacturing overseas.
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, a proposed trade agreement between the US and the European Union that’s already on rocky ground, likely won’t happen either. If Trump wants to raise tariffs on China, the US will have to withdraw from the World Trade Organization (WTO). The effects of leaving the WTO would be that the US would enjoy the same economic status as Syria, North Korea and Iran. The US would lose binding dispute resolution process, lose protection against non-tariff barriers, protection of its intellectual property and it might engender mutually retaliatory trade wars.
In this election, trade became the proxy, the scapegoat for everything people felt was wrong with America. Trade isn’t the main force destroying jobs but it serves as a good target.