Industry Watch The Current Sino US Trade Situation, How Does The US Market Continue
- Jul 18, 2018 -

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Restructuring
For the middle and high end


"The United States is still our main market, we will try our best to keep it." When asked about the impact of Sino-US trade friction on the company's export business, Ma Jiaqiang, the assistant general manager of Jihua 3542 Textile Co., Ltd., replied categorically . “The annual production capacity of the company's home textiles is about 1.5 million sets. Last year, the total export volume was 25 million US dollars, of which US exports amounted to 19 million US dollars.” According to Ma Jiaqiang, Jihua 3542 Textile Co., Ltd. began exporting bedding products in 2008, nearly 10 In the year of export trade, the most profound feeling is that profits are getting thinner and thinner. “In 2010, the price of cotton skyrocketed, which caused a great impact on us, and the orders were lost a lot. Because of the large price difference between domestic and foreign cotton at that time, India’s cotton price advantage was obvious, which directly led to many of our orders being transferred to India. Appreciation has caused China's competitive advantage in the bedding package to shrink. Now, we can say that it is survival in the cracks." Coincidentally, it is also the main home textile products. Since 2008, Changzhou Waldorf has officially launched foreign trade with the United States. Qian Wei, manager of the home textile trade department, said that at this stage, although the company's business has not been affected too much, the profit margin has been compressed to some extent.

Under such a difficult situation, when confronted with Sino-US trade frictions, how can companies seek opportunities in the challenges?

“Industry upgrading is particularly important.” This is the way out for the company that Ma Jiaqiang has repeatedly emphasized with reporters. "At present, the company mainly adjusts its product structure, and the reason why the company survived in these years is also because the product structure is relatively large. Now, in all products, non-cotton fiber products account for about 60%. As far as the current policy is concerned, once trade frictions escalate, cotton products are more likely to be impacted, so even if the tax shocks are concerned, there is not much difference in raw material costs compared with foreign countries. In addition, we have our own With unique research and development advantages, the company develops dozens of new products every year to promote to customers."

In this regard, Qian Lixia, the business manager of Wuxi Youmei Trading Co., Ltd., feels the same. The company mainly exports children's clothing. Under the comparative advantage of India and Pakistan cotton products, the company has basically abandoned the production of adult cotton T-shirts and other clothing. And specializes in children's wear. "Now many companies that make people's models and basic clothing have lost a lot of orders. Our current infant and children's clothing can also be done, because the supporting facilities are still there. After so many years, the embroidery and embroidery factories, accessories factories, etc. still have matching, this is us. The competitive advantage. Infants take more velvet fabrics, accounting for more than 50%, and velvet is also the strength of Wuxi. Southeast Asian companies to do this fabric, we must import fabrics from us, plus transportation costs, etc. It’s just that we are competing.”

According to the organizers, the functional fabric companies participating in the New York show have increased significantly year-on-year, and the number of companies producing high-end clothing has increased compared with last year, indicating that the technological content of Chinese manufacturing has increased significantly. “This time I went to the New York show, there are few cotton products, mainly new products, mainly promoted more than 30 new fiber fabric products, such as bamboo carbon fiber, coffee carbon fiber, silver ion fiber, seaweed fiber, recycled polyester fiber, regeneration day. Silk fiber, etc. These products were exhibited at the Canton Fair in May this year, and the response was good, so I wanted to bring the water to the US exhibition. I sent samples to customers in the US, they are very interested, so we went this time. Exhibitors can take the opportunity to visit old customers and see if there is any possibility of increasing follow-up orders for these products.” Ma Jiaqiang said with expectation to reporters, “Our newly developed new products belong to middle and high-end products at a price comparable to similar cotton. The products are higher. The products are mainly for high-end customers, mainly for functional products, such as antibacterial, moisture absorbing, deodorizing and so on."

Changzhou Huaerui has always been looking forward to deepening the US and getting close to the US market to promote its products and tap potential customers. Qian Wei said that the company is confident in the upcoming New York show in July. All the exhibit samples have been sent to New York. The new and old customers have also been invited, and all the links are ready. It is worth mentioning that for this New York show, the company has designed new patterns, fabrics and products, and also added green bamboo fiber products to meet the target market demand.
Fenghua Hengxiang Garment Factory, a company that participated in the New York Show for the first time this year, is a pure export-oriented enterprise mainly engaged in men's wear. According to sales manager Zhuang Fangfang, “This exhibition plans to develop some mid-to-high-end customers and bring products to the exhibition for business men's wear. Mainly for casual men's wear and some women's wear, mainly cotton, linen and some functional fabrics, such as moisture wicking and non-ironing. At present, the company has a small market share in the United States, mainly through intermediaries to make some US orders. Moreover, the customer level is uneven. Through the communication between the middlemen and the guests, information asymmetry often occurs. Therefore, we want to use the platform of the New York exhibition to communicate face-to-face with the guests to better understand the customers' demands and achieve Effective communication."


product upgrade
Win the market


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Under the conditions of China's current loss of labor, raw materials and other dividends, for textile and garment enterprises exporting to the US market, product upgrades are undoubtedly a powerful grip for medium and high-end customers. Taking the road of differentiation and becoming a niche product to win the market has become a corporate consensus. According to the organizer, from the current exhibition situation, among the exhibitors, the number of enterprises making small orders has increased compared with last year.

Ma Jiaqiang said: "Although cotton products still occupy the mainstream consumer market, when the national cotton storage price is high, India relies on its cotton cost advantage. The textile industry chain has been quite perfect in the past two years, compared with our energy. Cost, raw material costs and labor costs are cheaper than us, so India has a clear price advantage. At present, China's cotton sheet and cover products only occupy a small share in the United States, probably about 10%. The share of eighty or ninety has been occupied by India and Pakistan. So it is very difficult for us to seize market share in cotton products. We can only take the road of differentiation and do some niche products."

According to Qian Lixia, Wuxi Youmei's orders in the US market are relatively random, and the quantity is not neat. It is basically a small batch, multi-variety order. If the degree of cooperation is good, the profit will be higher. “This kind of customer is more suitable for trading companies like us. At present, we have more than 40 customers, we will recommend other popular things for other customers to other customers who have needs. Customers in the US and Canada will also go to China. Look for fabric suppliers to get some samples, let us buy them after the selection, so that we can do a lot of small-lot, multi-variety guests. Like these customers, we are more mature and more efficient. ."

“The number of orders placed by customers can not be particularly large, but there are requirements for the quality of fabrics and other products. The company is also upgrading in the industry, which will eliminate some customers with little profit, and at the same time carry out a series of upgrades to the factory, such as workers. Technology training, updating equipment from time to time, etc., in order to improve production capacity." According to Zhuang Fangfang, the company often visits some customers, and the feedback they receive now is that for those high-end customers who are not very big orders. If they put their orders in India or other countries in Southeast Asia, there is no advantage, because some fabrics still need to be imported from China. After all, China has more advanced equipment and more experience in fabric production. It may be that for some guests who are a little bigger and have a lower quality requirement, there are some advantages to go there. "And we also consulted with customers. If they calculate the price of the fabric and go to the middleman to directly cooperate with the factory, it is more cost-effective to do it on our side."

Recently, the reporter learned from the news released by the National Textile Association (NCTO) official website that the head of a special yarn spinning mill reminded the US textile and apparel industry: "If we want to survive, we must innovate and have no choice. ”

The development of the textile industry in the United States is so. Under the current complex situation, China's textile industry needs enterprises to face market demand and continue to innovate. In recent years, with the strong advantages of the textile and garment industry chain, China has made great progress in product quality, production efficiency, equipment technology, process flow and logistics; in the aspects of brand building, product service, product design and development, etc. Development in the middle and high end. In addition, the new positioning of "technology, fashion, green" is to make the advantages of China's textile and garment industry stand out again.

As Zhuang Fangfang mentioned earlier, in order to increase production capacity, Wuxi Youmei will provide technical training for workers and will update equipment from time to time. In addition to upgrading the product structure from cotton-based to mid-to-high-end functional non-cotton fiber, the company is planning new plants, eliminating outdated equipment and replacing new equipment to better Respond to competitive pressures.

When talking about how to continue to maintain the advantages of China's textile and garment industry, Ye Erlai, CEO of Shanghai Gaixin Trading Co., Ltd. said that with the rapid development of China's textile and garment industry, the industrial structure of the textile and garment industry has become increasingly mature. The transformation of intensive industries into a key stage of brand and design as a competitive point, textile and garment enterprises must transform the traditional concept of production and management, from product quality, design and development, improve production efficiency, reduce production costs, personnel training, brand strategy, marketing promotion As well as product and service upgrades, in order to enhance the company's comprehensive competitiveness, not only to become a major exporting country, but also to become an export power.


Active cooperation
Strive for a win-win situation


According to the US Department of Commerce's International Trade Commission's Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA), as of April 2018, China's exports of textiles and clothing to the United States were about 10.927 billion US dollars, while China's imports of textiles and clothing from the United States was about 300 million US dollars. Even though the trade situation between China and the United States is uncertain, the above series of considerable figures seem to show that China’s enthusiasm for exporting US textiles and clothing is not diminished, and there are some good expectations. China and the United States are each other’s largest trading partners and maintain normal international trade. The relationship is a win-win situation for both parties and is in the common interest of the two peoples.

17 trade associations such as the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA), the North American Uniform Manufacturers and Distributors Association (NAUMD), the National Retail Federation (NRF), and the Retail Leaders Association (RILA) joined forces on May 11 Robert Lighthizer of the US Trade Representative Office (USTR) strongly opposes the US increasing any tariffs on consumer goods such as clothing, shoes, and household items imported from China. They believe that the increase in such tariffs will harm the interests of American consumers, American workers and US companies. According to the joint letter, in the United States, tariffs on some products are already very high. For example, the tariffs on ski jackets, baby clothes and tennis shoes are as high as 27.7%, 32% and 67.5% respectively. These products have little or no commercial production in the United States. So far, China is the largest supplier of these products. US imports from China already account for most of the tariffs charged by the US government. In fact, the US tariffs on imports of these consumer goods from China account for more than 22% of all US product tariffs levied by all countries. It needs to be clear that these tariffs are paid by American workers, American consumers and US companies - not China. In addition, the imposition of additional tariffs will increase the price of these items in the United States. Given China's dominance in the production of these products, coupled with the fact that every American will buy these consumer goods, this means that every American will feel the negative effects of this behavior. It will also affect the employment of more than 4 million Americans currently employed in the US apparel, footwear, travel goods and household goods industries.

On May 16, Julia K. Hughes, President of the American Fashion Industry Association (USFIA), testified at the hearing of the 301 investigation at the Office of the US Trade Representative. The USFIA urged the Trump administration to remove fashion items such as clothing from the list of tariff increase products under Section 301. Because tariffs on the import of these fashion products do not help to address concerns about China's intellectual property policies and practices in the USTR 301 report. What we need is multilateral action, not tariff. Tariffs on clothing, footwear and other fashion products will constitute a huge regressive tax increase. The tariffs on these products are already the highest among finished products, with rayon garments reaching 32% and footwear reaching 67%. Why add a burden to American families? For many of these products, China remains the number one supplier in the world, and other sourcing destinations cannot replace China. As mentioned in the testimony, the most important thing is that these tariffs will have a negative impact on US employment created by USFIA members. In fact, according to its research on the industry's global value chain, 70% of the value of imported clothing remains in the US – even if these garments are produced outside the United States. The US government should foster rather than prevent the growth of these jobs among the most innovative and iconic brands in the United States.

American business journalist Warren Shouldberg commented: "China is still an important supplier to the US home textile products (such as bedding and bathroom products) market, because it has proven time and time again that it is the most reliable large-scale project that dominates the US business. Sources. While other countries can offer similar products, they can rarely do this on a regular basis for large US retailers such as Wal-Mart, Target and Bed Bath & Beyond, and they rarely do this. China's infrastructure, manufacturing Industry foundations, ethics and supply of raw materials make it possible to continue to provide resources for the US market and are unlikely to change in the foreseeable future."

It is gratifying to note that in interviews with exhibitors, most companies can take a positive attitude towards current trade frictions and hope to do everything possible to maintain old customers and develop new ones.

Wuxi Youmei has only started to work in the Americas market in the past three or five years, accounting for about 20% of its export share, and is in a growth trend. In the face of Sino-US trade frictions, Qian Lixia hopes that the company can show itself well in the New York exhibition platform. "I feel that there is no impact at present. The impact will not be great. The company's products have always been product quality, service, We will win by delivery, not by high-volume and low-price competition. Otherwise, we will completely compete with Southeast Asia. Because we can do business with a win-win situation, for customers, we must have our value, customers will choose We, and our value is that the price is moderate, not arbitrarily quoted; the second point is that under the same price, we are more competitive in terms of service, quality, delivery, etc."

Qingdao Chenyuer Home Textile Co., Ltd. mainly deals in curtains, shower curtains, tablecloths, kitchen curtains, home textile fabrics, etc. Wang Meng, manager of the company's trade department, said that the company began to trade with the United States in 2008. Summarizing the past experience of foreign trade with the United States, exchange rate fluctuations and raw material costs have always been the main factors determining the company's foreign trade. The company has been trying to control the printing and dyeing costs. Reasonable prices and quality products stabilize customers, so the company has been particularly smooth to the US foreign trade. Although China-US trade relations have "fluctuation" this year, so far, the home textile industry has not been involved, and corporate managers are also in danger, paying close attention to the two countries.


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