Business & Policy | News & Insights

Textile Sector Sets Sights on $5 Billion Exports to the US

Published: October 24, 2023

A delegation of Turkish textile and apparel associations recently visited the United States with the goal of increasing the industry’s exports to the lucrative American market to a minimum of $5 billion. 

The delegation, which consisted of representatives from the Istanbul Textile and Raw Materials Exporters’ Association (İTHİB) and Istanbul Apparel Exporters’ Association (İHKİB), attended the ‘I of the World’ event in New York. More than 40 Turkish companies participated, engaging in discussions with representatives from 120 American firms over the course of the two-day event.

The Turkish textile industry has been actively pursuing opportunities in the U.S. market for the past four years, considering it to be a strategic market for local textile companies. 

This year, apparel companies joined the delegation to explore opportunities in the world’s largest importer of apparel. Turkish companies engaged in talks with representatives of renowned brands such as Polo Ralph Lauren, Ann Taylor, and Calvin Klein. 

The results of these discussions are expected within two weeks. Turkish companies are specifically targeting middle- and high-income consumers in the U.S., as they believe they possess the necessary capacity and high-quality products to meet the demands of these consumer groups.

The president of İTHİB, Ahmet Öksüz, stated that the purpose of the trade delegation’s visit was to enhance access to the U.S. market for textile and apparel companies. Öksüz also mentioned that the U.S. is the eighth largest export market for the Turkish textile industry, ranking third in terms of textile exports during the January-September 2023 period. 

The goal is for Turkey to ascend to the list of top textile importers in the U.S. and become an indispensable supplier.

As for the Turkish apparel industry, Mustafa Paşahan, the president of İHKİB, disclosed that its shipments to the U.S. market reached $682 million in the first nine months of the year. The total apparel imports of the U.S. amount to approximately $126 billion. 

The industry is targeting middle- and high-income groups in the U.S., aiming to avoid selling cheap products. Paşahan reiterated that Turkey has sufficient capacity to cater to the American market. 

The current exports to the U.S. amount to $1 billion, and the objective is to increase this figure to $2 billion. In 2021, Turkey’s textile and apparel exports to the U.S. stood at $1.7 billion.

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