Insight Report 16 minutes Premium

US-China Trade Issues: Assessing the Impact on Apparel, Footwear and Furniture Brands and Retailers

Executive Summary

In this report, we analyze the impact of US tariffs on apparel and textiles, footwear, and furniture imports from China.

  • The recently announced US tariffs on Chinese imports appear to have direct implications for the fabrics and yarn categories, and furniture is likely to see more severe effects than other consumer goods categories. Apparel and footwear are largely excluded from the current tariffs, but they could be impacted if the US government extends tariffs to additional categories.
  • China is the US’s largest trading partner in the apparel and textiles category. In 2016, the US imported Chinese apparel and textiles worth $45.2 billion, four times more than it imported from Vietnam that year.
  • China was the largest footwear exporter to the US in 2017, accounting for 56% of US footwear imports, or $14 billion worth of shoes.
  • China is also the largest furniture exporter to the US. In 2016, the US imported $24.2 billion worth of furniture, and China accounted for $13.7 billion of that, or 57% of total imports.
  • If further tariffs are applied to apparel, companies such as Chico’s FAS and G-III Apparel Group are likely to be impacted, as they source heavily from China. Companies such as The Children’s Place, which uses the “China plus Vietnam plus many” sourcing strategy, are better positioned to absorb any costs that may result from future tariffs.

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