The textile and apparel industries are undergoing a period of major decline. The U.S. Department of Labor projects a loss of more than 75,500 jobs, nearly 30 percent, in the textiles, apparel, and furnishings products industry through 2022. Factors contributing to the steep decline include increased worker productivity due to automation, fierce competition, mergers, and rising imports. When trade quotas were lifted in 2005, textile and apparel imports increased due to cheap labor markets in countries like China which make it difficult for U.S. firms to compete.

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