Edward Snowden and the Apparel Industry

Posted by Ryan Robinson on Jul 1, 2013

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With Ecuador renouncing United States trade pacts and Bangladesh losing trade privileges, have you made sure your sourcing supply chain is agile enough to make it?

In response to US government threats of revoking trade privileges with Ecuador over their decision to review granting assylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden, the Ecuadorian government has taken to voluntarily renounce trade benefits.

In light of recent trade benefits being cut from Bangladesh, Ecuador's renunciation of trade privileges makes for the second country slashed from free trade agreements with the US in one week. This has serious implications for Apparel Brands that are sourcing goods in these countries, as their supply chains may be in great jeopardy. 

Higher import fees spells out higher costs for apparel brands that are importing garments. In an industry that's already feeling pressure to innovate cost reduction strategies, these events call into question whether or not your supply chain is flexible enough to roll with the changing economic climate.

As Ecuador's Communications Minister, Fernando Alvarez said, his country "does not accept threats from anybody, and does not trade in principles, or submit to mercantile interests, as important as they may be." Reinstatement of free trade privileges does not appear to be in the cards for the forseeable future with Ecuador. If you're sourcing apparel trims or other pieces of your garments in Ecuador, it's time to re-evaluate your supply chain strategy.

Supply chain efficiency, flexibility, and reliability have always been important issues for apparel brands, but now more than ever these qualities are becoming increasingly important with the drastic changes going on in the global environment.

While Bangladeshi garment exports aren't directly effected by the restrictions on trade privileges from the US, there are numerous other seriously detrimental effects that can change the landscape of Bangladesh's export industry forever.

Is your sourcing strategy flexible enough to change pace and adapt to survive in our current global environment? You need to sit down and seriously evaluate whether or not you can quickly reroute production capabilities to other locations in the world in the event that unexpected occurances arise such as those that have come about in Bangladesh & Ecuador.

It's crucial to utilize the best in apparel supply chain technology to stay ahead of the competition and continue growing your business in the face of global peril.