Mon, Feb 13, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Taiwanese textile firms look to production in US

Staff writer, with CNA

Several major textile manufacturers are to make products in the US, echoing US President Donald Trump’s pledge to push for goods labeled “Made in the USA.”

Everest Textile Co (宏遠興業), a subsidiary of the Far Eastern Group (遠東集團), is one of the Taiwanese firms responding to Trump’s advocacy. The company, which has bought a plant in North Carolina and repurposed the production lines, is scheduled to start production by the middle of next month.

Everest, which specializes in functional fabric production, said that the North Carolina plant would mainly manufacture fabrics, although some of the production lines would produce ready-to-wear garments.

The company said the repurposing of the US plant has proceeded smoothly, with production set to begin one month ahead of schedule.

Apparel maker Makalot Industrial Co (聚陽實業) said that it is studying the feasibility of setting up a plant in the US as part of its plans to expand overseas. Makalot is also considering investing in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Li Peng Enterprise Co Ltd (力鵬), the largest nylon chip and yarn producer in Taiwan, said that it is planning to open warehouse facilities in the US in the second half of this year to store the nylon chips it produces in Taiwan and Southeast Asia to meet demand in the US market.

Li Peng said that the US warehouses would be large enough to store about 2,000 tonnes, but they would not store nylon chips from China there, as they have been slapped with anti-dumping tariffs by the US government.

The warehouse business aims to better serve US customers by taking advantage of proximity to the market, the firm said.

This latest approach by textile makers represents a major shift in the sector’s production focus, as goods have largely been made in China and Southeast Asian countries in recent years.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs has warned that Trump’s protectionism could affect Taiwan’s exports, while economists have urged the government and local exporters to come up with measures to counter the possible impact of Trump’s policies, as the US is one of the largest buyers of Taiwanese textiles.

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