United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) President Julia K. Hughes on Monday will testify during the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative’s public hearing on the negotiating objectives for a U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement, taking place at the U.S. International Trade Commission.
She will speak in support of a trade agreement with Japan, an important trading partner for retail as the third-largest consumer market in the world, as well as an important sourcing destination for high-quality textiles increasingly demanded by consumers. She calls for the elimination of the very high import duties on fashion products; a flexible, simplified, 21st-century Rule of Origin for apparel; harmonized and streamlined customs procedures; and, harmonized rules and regulations governing issues like product safety and labeling.
“As American fashion brands and retailers—and all companies in the United States—are seeking opportunities to reach new consumers, grow their businesses, and create jobs in the United States, it’s important to make it easier to trade and do business with lucrative, growing markets like Japan,” she says in her testimony. “An effective, 21st century U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement would be flexible and would recognize the commercial reality that companies rely on global value chains to produce and sell products. Such an agreement would provide the United States with the best possible economic benefits for U.S. companies, U.S. workers, and U.S. consumers.”