Globalization and the Clothing Industry

BrandsU.S. apparel manufacturing reached its height shortly after World War II and has steadily declined ever since. After the war, the industry of clothing production increased to meet growing demands.  As global trade increased, the clothing industry started to decline in the U.S.  As late as 1980, clothing production still made up one in ten American manufacturing jobs.  However, by 2007, ninety-five percent of apparel bought in the U.S. was imported from elsewhere, and today only “two percent of clothing bought in this country is manufactured on U.S. soil” (Blackburn).  There has been a shift from small companies that were family owned to large international companies, a rising demand for products, as well as cheaper labor elsewhere.  Thus, clothing industries have left the U.S. to make clothing in third world countries and then selling them cheaper than fine goods to the U.S. consumer.  For example, a “worker at the Chinese sock factory makes just $14 a day, or $270 in month. In America, a clothing worker makes $88 a day, or $1,760 a month” (Blackburn).  Following the same trend, an oxford shirt form Brooks Brothers that is made in the USA cost $195, while an oxford shirt made in China for Walmart cost $12.98.  This example of how globalization has impacted in just one example of many that show how harmful globalization really has been on the U.S.A. and its citizens.

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