Summary In Pietra Rivolli's 'Trouble At The Border'

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Part Three of Pietra Rivolli’s book, titled “Trouble at the Border”, focuses on the hurdles the T-shirt faces during its return to America during a time when concerns about the adverse effects of free trade are rising. She points out that the American public remains uneasy about trade not because the people are unaware of its benefits but because they tend to view matters with a local rather than a global perspective. Subsequently, she refers to the textile and apparel industry as the most protected manufacturing industry in the US, often shielded by complicated rules made by politically driven policymakers. The people who have been hurt by decline of textile manufacturing can influence policy makers because they speak in a collective voice, they hail from the same geographic region, their stories of loss play into the fears of other wary Americans. These factors give them the ability to influence elections. Therefore, regardless of how pro-free trade any government official (including the president) is, they have still had to dampen their free trade ambitions just to keep the textile workers happy. The VER, which limited imports from Japan, led to the STA, where…show more content…
The subgroups of the alliance were creating higher costs for one another, rendering each other unresponsive to the changing fashion choices of the U.S. consumer, and thereby reducing their own competitiveness. They were also struggling to predict the frequent policy changes associated with the textile industry, the cost of protecting the industry was proving to be too high, and the quotas were also driving the exporting countries to become high end producers. The protectionism was also increasing globe-trotting that in turn, further globalized apparel trade. In fact, the only good use of the trade barriers was as a powerful incentive with which the US could reward its friends, like it did with Pakistan after

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