A national searchable database of US-based clothing and textile manufacturers, suppliers, and contractors is being compiled to help companies seeking to source ‘Made in the USA’ textiles, apparel, and footwear products.
While it is not yet possible to search for US-based suppliers, companies who want to be included in the database are being invited to register their details.
The results will be accessible online through the US Department of Commerce’s Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA) website. Firms who want to self-register should go to http://otexa.ita.doc.gov/MadeInUSA.htm
Human rights groups and trade unions have called upon the Pakistan government to ensure safe working conditions and effective monitoring of garment manufacturing facilities in the wake of two fires that killed nearly 300 garment and footwear workers on Tuesday, September 11.
The country’s worst ever industrial disaster claimed the lives of around 260 workers at a garment factory fire in Baldia Town No 2 near Karachi. This tragedy coincided with a shoe factory blaze in Lahore that killed 21 people and injured 14 others.
The final death toll could be even higher as more bodies are being retrieved from the basement of the garment factory which filled with water used to extinguish the fire.
According to media reports, many victims were trapped in a basement with no fire exits and locked doors. Most died from suffocation when the basement filled with smoke. Other workers on higher floors rushed to windows to escape but struggled to get out because metal bars blocked their way.
Around 2,000 people are employed at the factory, and around 1500 workers were in the building when the fire started.
The police have filed a murder case against Abdul Aziz, Mohammad Arshad and Shahid Bhaila, the owners of Ali Enterprises.
The factory manufactured underwear for export to the EU and US, with poor workplace conditions and no emergency or safety measures.
The textile and clothing industry is the mainstay of Pakistan’s economy, contributing around 9% of gross domestic product, more than 50% of total export receipts, and providing direct employment to around 2.5m people.
Karachi is Pakistan’s biggest industrial and port city with a population of more than 15m. A large number of residents work in the textile and allied industries.
A range of counterfeit Olympic apparel goods have been seized by Border Force officers in the UK, including themed vests and football shirts carrying brands like Adidas and Polo Ralph Lauren.
The haul included some 432 Olympic themed vests seized at the port of Dover, while 15 fake Olympic Adidas football shirts and 90 fake Olympic Polo Ralph Lauren shirts were confiscated at Coventry’s international postal hub.
Meanwhile, more than 7,000 fake Olympic gym bags were seized at the port of Felixstowe.
“In this Olympic summer our officers have utilized intelligence sources, scanner technology and search techniques to successfully thwart those seeking to illegally profit from the Games,” said Home Office minister Damian Green.
Counterfeiting is estimated to be worth around GBP1.3bn (US$2bn) in the UK each year.
Estimated cotton exports from the US for the 2011/12 season have been increased by about 200,000 bales, reflecting strong sales in recent months, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Its updated figures show 2012/13 ending stocks unchanged from last month, with production also the same at about 17m bales, pending further information about planted areas and weather.
However, exports for 2012/13 are cut by 200,000 bales, thanks to lower expected foreign demand over the next year.
World production estimates for 2012/13 are reduced by 1.4m bales, thanks to anticipated cuts in production areas in Brazil, Australia and Argentina – a response to fast-falling prices.
World consumption is also reduced by about 1m bales, with decreases for China and Thailand partially offset by an increase for India.
“With world prices falling, China’s reserve floor price will make it increasingly difficult for mills there to be competitive producers of yarn,” the USDA report warns.
Meanwhile, for 2011/12, there an increase of nearly 1.8m bales to China’s imports, thanks to the continued strong pace of deliveries, and corresponding increases in exports for India, Brazil, Australia, the US and Malaysia.