Year-end data released by the U.S. Department of Commerce show that the textile and apparel trade
deficit fell by 13 percent in 2009. Manufacturing industry trade officials say, however, that the
decline was due to the collapse of the U.S. economy rather than any long-term improvement.
..Commerce department data show the textile and apparel trade deficit amounted to $74 billion
based on imports of $90 billion and exports of $16 billion. China accounted for $36 billion of the
U.S., imports and only $848 million of U.S. exports, resulting in a relatively minor drop of 4.5
percent in the trade deficit.
..Apparel imports from the Caribbean nations, which often contain yarn and fabric made in the
United States, amounted to $7 billion, a decline of 17 percent. U.S. trade with the North America
Free Trade Agreement countries — Canada and Mexico — show $9.4 billion in imports, a decline of
11 percent; and $8.4 billion in exports, a drop of 7 percent from 2008.
..U.S. exports to countries with which the United States has free trade agreements remained a
little stronger, dropping by only 3 percent from 2008.