Bahrain’s Position in the Global Apparel Value Chain: How the U.S.-Bahrain FTA and PTLs Shape Future Development Options

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Repository Usage Stats


Citation Stats


This report analyzes the situation of Bahrain’s industry and its prospects in light of the looming TPL expiration. The Bahraini industry oriented to the U.S. market contains two distinct segments: textile manufacturers, which own spinning, weaving and finishing mills in Bahrain, and rely on TPL for a relatively small portion (just over a third) of the final products they exports to the United States; and apparel companies, which currently rely on TPL for 100% of their garment exports to the United States, since these contain fabrics and yarn from third party countries, such as China. The apparel companies currently exporting to the U.S. from Bahrain are owned by foreign firms, they employ predominantly migrant workers from South Asia, and they have other production locations in the Gulf region, including Jordan and Egypt. Consequently, if garment manufacturers are unable to receive duty-free access to the U.S. market once TPLs expire in 2016, they are unlikely to stay in the country, in contrast to the textile companies, whose investments in Bahrain are far more significant. The report contains a series of recommendations regarding different ways in which Bahrain might continue to receive limited exemptions from the yarn-forward rules of origin after 2016. These proposals include, but are not limited to, an extension of the current benefit.






Published Version (Please cite this version)




Gary Gereffi

Professor Emeritus of Sociology

Gary Gereffi is Emeritus Professor of Sociology and Director of the Global Value Chains Center at Duke University (  He has published over a dozen books and numerous articles on globalization, industrial upgrading, and social and economic development, and he is one of the originators of the global value chains framework.  His most recent books are:  Handbook on Global Value Chains (co-edited by Stefano Ponte, Gary Gereffi and Gale Raj-Reichert), Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing. 2019); and Global Value Chains and Development: Redefining the Contours of 21st Century Capitalism (Cambridge University Press, 2018).  Current projects include:  (1) the impact of U.S. protectionism on jobs and regional trade agreements; (2) evaluating how the digital economy and Industry 4.0 are likely to affect international business strategies and industrial upgrading; and (3) shifting regional interdependencies in East Asia and North America, with a focus on China, South Korea and Mexico vis-à-vis the United States.

Unless otherwise indicated, scholarly articles published by Duke faculty members are made available here with a CC-BY-NC (Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial) license, as enabled by the Duke Open Access Policy. If you wish to use the materials in ways not already permitted under CC-BY-NC, please consult the copyright owner. Other materials are made available here through the author’s grant of a non-exclusive license to make their work openly accessible.