Textiles & Apparel: What’s in the “import sensitive X-basket” in TPP?

“Import sensitive” T&A in the United States mostly refers to cotton and man-made fibre apparel and fabrics. They are also the type of T&A products to be most likely included in the TPP X-basket. Furthermore, because Vietnam’s T&A exports to the United States heavily concentrate on these “import sensitive” T&A categories, the X-basket has the potential to substantially affect the actual trade liberalization that can be enjoyed by the T&A sector under TPP.

According to some media reports, products in the X-basket will be subject to an initial duty reduction, but will then be shielded from further tariff reductions until their elimination between 10 and 15 years after the implementation of TPP. However, at this point, details of the X-basket are still being kept secret.

What might be in the TPP X-basket? We need to first figure out what T&A products are regarded as “import sensitive” by US trade policymakers. Although the term ”import sensitive” is never clearly defined, history might offer some hints. Table 1 compiles products covered by three recent trade programmes:

•  US International Trade Commission (USITC) monitoring programme on T&A imports from China based on the US- China Textile Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) (2008 – present);
•  Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA) monitoring programme on US T&A imports from Vietnam (2007-2008);
•  US textile safeguard measures against China (2003-2005).

The “import sensitive” T&A products in Table 1 are further classified into three categories:

Category A: refers to products that are covered by all the three programmes;
Category B: refers to products that are covered by any two of the three programmes;
Category C: refers to products that are only covered by any one of the three programmes.

Understandably, Category A products (OTEXA Code 338, 339, 340, 345, 347, 348, 352, 447, 638, 639, 640, 645, 646, 647, 648 and 652) are the most “import sensitive” T&A to the United States, followed by Category B and Category C.

Read the complete article…

What clothing could the TPP X-basket contain? just-style, Sep 18, 2015
Article by Dr. Sheng Lu, Assistant Professor, Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies, University of Delaware

Contact via LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/pub/sheng-lu/14/b54/15
Sheng Lu, University of DelawareSheng Lu, Ph.D
Assistant Professor
Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies, University of Delaware
Dr. Sheng Lu is an assistant professor from the Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies at the University of Delaware. With over 40 publications in academic and trade journals, Sheng’s research focuses on the economic and business aspects of the global textile and apparel industry, including international trade, trade policy and the governance of global apparel value chain.

From his web-site …


The textile and apparel industry is a thick textbook study far beyond fiber, yarn, fabric and clothing.  It is THE industry that triggered the first Industrial Revolution, among those sectors that embraced globalization early and still plays a critical role in the global economy with cross-cutting economic, social and political influences in the 21st century.   Some key facts about this sector today:

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