Introduction: The apparel industry and North American economic integration

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2009-12-01

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Abstract

The economic and social consequences of international trade agreements have become a major area of inquiry in development studies in recent years. As evidenced by the energetic protests surrounding the Seattle meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in December 1999 and the controversy about China's admission to the WTO, such agreements have also become a focus of political conflict in both the developed and developing countries. At issue are questions of job gains and job losses in different regions, prices paid by consumers, acceptable standards for wages and working conditions in transnational manufacturing industries, and the quality of the environment. All these concerns have arisen with regard to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and can be addressed through an examination of changes in the dynamics of the apparel industry in the post-NAFTA period.1 In this book, we examine the evolution of the apparel industry in North America in order to address some of these questions as they pertain to North America, with an eye toward the broader implications of our findings. We also consider the countries of the Caribbean Basin and Central America, whose textile and apparel goods are now allowed to enter the U.S. market on the same basis as those from Canada and Mexico (Odessey 2000). © 2009 by Temple University Press. All rights reserved.

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Scholars@Duke

Gereffi

Gary Gereffi

Professor Emeritus of Sociology

Gary Gereffi is Emeritus Professor of Sociology and Director of the Global Value Chains Center at Duke University (https://gvcc.duke.edu/).  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.

Gereffi

Gary Gereffi

Professor Emeritus of Sociology

Gary Gereffi is Emeritus Professor of Sociology and Director of the Global Value Chains Center at Duke University (https://gvcc.duke.edu/).  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.


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