Thursday, March 4, 2010

Support ‘Made in Canada’ Clothes: Manufacturers


Canadian clothing manufacturers are hoping the federal government will use Thursday’s budget to boost the number of articles bearing the ‘Made in Canada’ label by cutting duties on the importation of raw materials.

The North American manufacturing industry has struggled since free trade opened the market to clothing from abroad.

Fifty-per cent of jobs in the Canadian textile industry were lost over the past decade after the federal government dropped tariffs on cheaper-made clothing from overseas, according to a lobby group representing some 500 Canadian manufacturers.

Though higher gas prices and changing attitudes have provide a recent boost to the industry, high duties remain a serious obstacle for Canadian manufacturers according to the Canadian Apparel Federation.

“You could have a garment that is made in Vancouver, or Montreal or Toronto— and you are paying up to 14 per cent duty just on fabric — so that makes you uncompetitive,” said the group’s executive director, Bob Kirke.

The increasing cost and uncertainty involved in importing goods from halfway around the world is forcing many companies to reconsider imports in favour of domestic production, Kirke said. Read more here.