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Doing business with China

January 10th, 2022 / By: / My Take

by Janet Preus

I’ve learned a lot about the textile industry during my time at IFAI. I feel especially good about becoming conversant, at least, in the advanced textiles arena. There are other issues of importance to the textile industry, however, where I am fundamentally lost. 

Such as international trade. I can ask intelligent questions of someone who knows far more than I do. I can even understand the answers, but the whole trade picture is so complex, so riddled with regulations set domestically and globally and so much in a state of flux that it takes an expert to keep up. If you are a little frustrated in your efforts to grasp those trade developments that impact you and your business, you are, I’m sure, not alone. 

Fortunately, we found an expert to zero in on one very recent development that, if you are doing business in any capacity with China, specifically, you really need to understand. I highly recommend you read Nate Bolin’s article, “New Year, new reasons to know your supply chain,” which we just posted on the Advanced Textiles Source site. Changes are coming with respect to China, and, as Bolin explains so clearly, it would be a good idea to look into it now to avoid problems later. 

Ships loaded with shipping containers are languishing offshore near major U.S. ports, and trucks are lined up ready to haul whatever is in those containers, if they just could. It’s been a huge challenge for everybody from the suppliers, to the trucking companies, to the end product manufacturers, and on to customers who are waiting for products—in some cases, for months. 

But you already know this. There are resources available to you to learn more about trade issues, to address your supplier needs and to get a more complete picture so you can plan for your business’s future. Bolin offers a list of five key actions at the end of his article, and that seems like an excellent place to start.

Janet Preus is senior editor of Advanced Textiles Source. She can be reached at jlpreus@ifai.com.