America United : Future Apparel Trade Barack Obama
By: Bruce S. Berton , November 2008


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I have been asked to write an article about the election of Barack Obama as the next President of the United States as it relates to the future of trade.

Founded in 1776, the U.S.A. is very young compared to the histories of Europe and Asia. We are unique in that we are made up of almost every culture of the world, and we have had a very progressive society wherein dreams can be attained no matter where we come from.

True, we have many differences as to how we should be governed, but we have peaceful methods and opportunities to reach our goals and objectives. When it comes to how the Democratic Party will function with a Chief Executive and Congress remains to be seen.

There were many words spoken during the election process from both parties, and they changed their specific plans during this time in an effort to obtain votes. Once power is transferred, there are usually many changes between what was implied during election and what will actually become policy during a term in office.

The following issues may or may not affect the area of trade.

1.      The Democratic Party is strongly supported by Unions of all sectors of industry; therefore, I must assume more protectionist policies within our foreign trade regulations.

2.      There are three Free Trade Agreements pending under Fast Track  that the Democratic Congress will not bring to the floor for a vote (Korea, Columbia, and Panama).

3.      The United States Trade Representative (USTR) is at the discretion of the Office of the President; therefore, our existing representatives might be changed and different attitudes towards the WTO will possibly follow.

4.      Foreign investment into other countries will most likely be different due to the need to create jobs to increase our own infrastructure.

5.      Labor compliance for people working in other countries will become a very important issue in all trade contracts for the future.

6.      Though statements were made about our existing Free Trade Agreements, especially NAFTA/cAFTA, I do not think the existing FTA's will be changed in the near future.

7.      China will be observed, and many issues that have already had legislative arguments and debates will arise again, possibly with successful passage but maybe not with successful results.

8.      Regulations that have not been enforced or where we
looked the other way
will now be monitored and very stiff penalties will be invoked.

9.      The future of additional FTAs will most likely not be on the high priority list for the new government.

10.  I will say that over time, usually the President becomes a Centrist, a little left or right of center, so therefore we as country move forward to be leaders of a world marketplace.

Now we must just wait and see because many ideas will be pondered, but basically we understand that we are in a world economy, and we only desire to have PEACE and PROSPERITY in the minds of all who govern.

By:  Bruce S. Berton


Here are a few of the other recent articles written by Bruce:

Product Branding and Licensing in the Apparel Industry
By: Bruce S. Berton , October 2008

In the Apparel Industry Speaking the Same Language Does Not Mean You are Communicating
By: Bruce S. Berton , September 2008

Is the Glass Half Full or Half Empty?
By: Bruce S. Berton , July 2008

Beauty Is in the Eye of the Beholder

By: Bruce S. Berton , July 2008

Will It Be June Gloom Or Summer Spectacular?
June 4, 2008 by Bruce Berton

Bruce S. Berton is a business and management consultant with Stonefield Josephson, Inc., a leading regional consulting and accounting firm with offices in Santa Monica, San Francisco, Walnut Creek and Mexico City. The information in this column is of a general nature.  Readers inquiries are welcome; and may be sent to Bruce Berton, at Stonefield Josephson, Inc., 2049 Century Park East Suite 400 Los Angeles, California 90067 310-432-7437 Direct
866-225-4511 Toll Free
310-432-7519 Fax Los Angeles
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