Roots of the Postwar Textile and Apparel Trade

Ellen Israel Rosen

in Making Sweatshops

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2002 | ISBN: 9780520233362
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520928572 | DOI:
Roots of the Postwar Textile and Apparel Trade

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This chapter presents a historical analysis of the postwar changes in U.S. trade policy: the emergence of the early postwar reciprocal-trade regime in textiles and apparel, as it was first developed between the United States, Japan, and the Big Three—Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea. Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers (SCAP)'s effort to rebuild Japanese industry entailed the reconstruction of Japan's prewar textile industry. The reconstruction of Japan's textile industry led to the opening of the U.S. market to imports of low-cost Japanese textiles and apparel. Eisenhower was trying to promote Japanese exports to the United States. The occupation improved the status of Japan's women textile workers, and SCAP continued to set wages. The process of making low-wage textiles and apparel in export-processing zones was forged early in the context of America's postwar efforts to contain communism in East Asia.

Keywords: U.S. trade policy; Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers; United States; Japan; Hong Kong; Taiwan; South Korea; Japanese textiles; Japanese apparel; Eisenhower

Chapter.  11821 words. 

Subjects: Occupations, Professions, and Work

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