66 Organizations Representing the Global Textile, Apparel, Footwear, Travel Goods, and Fashion Industry Appeal to Governments to Address the Economic Crisis Caused by COVID-19

April 22, 2020 | WASHINGTON, D.C.

Today, the American Apparel & Footwear Association joined with 65 industry groups in a call to governments and international financial institutions to enact coordinated efforts to address the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Representing the textile, apparel, footwear, travel goods, and fashion industry, the groups represent companies, workers, and consumers in each and every part of the global supply chain. 

As companies have closed retail locations in response to social distancing needs, revenue used to employ millions of workers around the globe has dried up. This lost revenue has had knock-on effects through the global supply chain. To respond to this economic crisis, the groups ask that governments and international financial institutions:

- Enact temporary stimulus measures to ensure liquidity;
- Undertake temporary duty deferral and tariff relief to support liquidity and cash flow, and keep workers employed; and
- Refrain from imposing new trade restrictions and not impede production or delivery of PPE, its intermediate products, or raw materials.

In the statement, the organizations recognize that many of these items were addressed in a G-20 statement released in March, but add that, “words mean a lot, but the actions will determine how fast and how well we can emerge from this crisis.”

“Companies are desperate for cash to pay their workers and suppliers, while at the same time access to revenue is down due to closed stores,” said Steve Lamar, president and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association. “This is why we need governments – both the U.S. and globally – to work together with international financial institutions to make sure financial resources are available to keep supply chains solvent and workers employed. If this is not done quickly and thoughtfully, we risk burning a hole in the global supply chain. It is essential that leaders act now to support these networks that employ millions around the world.” 

The statement in its entirety is available for download here