The Advantages and Disadvantages of China’s Apparel Manufacturing Industry

The Advantages and Disadvantages of China’s Apparel Manufacturing Industry

Abigail Hardin
CTD 447 Tong
Book Report 2
25 October 2011
Rivoli, R. (2009) (2nd Edition). The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy: An Economist Examines the Markets, Powers, and Politics of World Trade. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of China’s Apparel Manufacturing Industry

China leads in the apparel manufacturing industry like the United States leads in cotton production. However, China’s dominance is much different than that of the United States. China is competitive in the apparel manufacturing industry with its quick and cheap labor. However, their low price of production comes at a high price of workers’ quality of life. Thus, China’s dominance has mainly been a disadvantage to workers, yet the hardships within China’s apparel manufacturing industry have surprisingly resulted in advantages. In order to understand the advantages of China’s apparel manufacturing, one must consider the history of China, the workers’ characteristics, and the positive effects of global trade.
Historically, China was not expected to dominate the apparel manufacturing industry. Instead, Chinese families worked slowly, yet efficiently to produce and create clothing. However, Britain surpassed the Chinese with the Industrial Revolution. Inventions like the spinning jenny spurred apparel manufacturing. New England slyly acquired Britain’s patented technology and spearheaded apparel manufacturing. Later, the South dominated manufacturing because of slavery and sharecroppers. However, Southern farmers exported to Japan, who had cheaper labor. Soon, China, Taiwan, and Korea surpassed Japan. “Today, China is not only the largest buyer of American cotton, it is also projected to soon produce more than forty percent of the world’s cotton textiles” (78). The reason China attracts sourcing is because Americans, as well as other countries, have a high demand for cheap clothing. In turn, China depends on American’s supply of cotton to meet...

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