So, What is the Story?


Consultants Corner News Consulting Manufacturing Clothing



By:  Bruce S. Berton  2005

Will the 'safeguard measures be allowed to establish quota? If so, when?

Will the antidumping provisions, which are required to show volumes of verified figures, really work within a time action calendar that makes sense?

Will the Department of Commerce (DOC) be able to gather information and have a system to monitor imports on textiles and apparel products that will really work, and on a timely basis?  They say, Yes, starting on April 1, 2005.  (April 1 is also known as April Fool's Day.)

Will your business records be in proper order to survive an antidumping investigation or verification?

What specific Harmonized Treaty Categories (HTSUS) have already increased in January, February, and March, with huge increases in percentage of entrance to the USA over last year?

So, what is the story?

I would call it Hedge Your Bet and Do Not Put All Your Eggs in One Basket!

As I stated in a prior article, there is no question that the year 2005 is the year of uncertainty.  You must take a hands on approach and diversify your production sourcing. Selling your product is only one part of the business cycle; the other part is to deliver it and get paid. We are in a time of many dilemmas, and many risks are involved. If you know your market and are frozen out by low costs that don't make sense, find out from your U.S. Customs Broker where and how to report this to the proper government agency.

This complicated web of politics, lobbying, legalities, and posturing is all part of importing and exporting, and can affect you at any time. My only advice is the same as what a referee gives to all fighters in a boxing match, and that is: 
Protect yourself at all times.

There are many professional organizations, both public and private, that have information that should enable you to stay in the game. Now is the time to try and look ahead, and like insurance, it will most likely cost you up front.  You can avoid major hits to your bottom line and reach your goals and objectives, and not be sent off the track of profitable business.

We are definitely going through changing times, and I do not see the light at the end of the tunnel in global importing/exporting in the near future.

Fortunately, we are in a growing economy and the ability of our market to absorb product at all levels is mind boggling. This does not mean that profits are constantly being made in all areas of our business. The consolidation in retail, manufacturing, and finance is still continuing at a very consistent pace. This means you must have built not only the product, but the infrastructure within your business to make your own safeguards and security.

There is no question that new ideas are always needed, and how they are presented to the consumer will determine your success or failure. You should always be trying to improve or present new products. Therefore, sometimes you have to venture into new ideas or different markets.  Keeping these ventures in proper prospective and having methods to test the waters, so to speak, will give you the opportunity to move forward with some security.

So, the answer to the question is, Make sure you have the factual information to allow for change.

The professionals at Stonefield Josephson have over 100 years of experience in the apparel industry, and we can advise you and guide you through these changing times.

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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