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Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Bra Tariffs

Business Week says the Bush textile tariffs announced yesterday won't help save industries that are already dying domestically. The article has some interesting background on the bra industry I wasn't aware of. For example:

Let's look at the numbers, which show how dominant Chinese imports have become since the U.S. removed quotas on Chinese-made bras and robes in 2002. Bra imports jumped immediately from 38.4 million the year before to 127.2 million. That 231% increase gave China a 24% share of the U.S. market, up from 9% the year before. This year, China's market share climbed to 33%...

Even if Chinese bras were banned from the U.S., it wouldn't help industry here. Bra production in the U.S. has almost disappeared anyway. Even before the quotas came off on China, foreign manufacturers had captured 85% of the U.S. market in 2001. As trade wars go, this one is already lost.