The 1980s

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:
The 1980s

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This chapter presents an account of the demise of congressional protectionism in the context of the new neoliberal consensus. It also provides an exploration of the new international textile, apparel, and retail complex and what it accomplished during the Ronald Reagan years. The defeat of Jenkins-Hollings, and with it virtually all administrative support for trade protection, cleared the way for free trade. It is clear that the new technologies that have penetrated the developing world have eliminated the productivity advantages of America's textile and apparel makers. The World Trade Organization (WTO) and the conclusion of the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade have made it possible for America's vertically integrated textile, apparel, and retail complex to embark on a new global effort to expand production sites and increase imports of low-wage apparel from developing countries around the world.

Keywords: congressional protectionism; textile; apparel; retail complex; Ronald Reagan; trade protection; World Trade Organization; General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade; neoliberal consensus

Chapter.  4095 words. 

Subjects: Occupations, Professions, and Work

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