Developments in the Global Apparel Industry after the MFA Phaseout

Describes the complexity of modern apparel production, with a particular focus on global value chains. Each of the study countries has a unique place in global apparel production, and the production structure in each has reacted differently to changes brought about by the end of the Multi-fibre Arrangement (MFA) and Agreement on Textiles and Clothing (ATC). One key lesson is that changes within the sector involve various degrees of upgrading, defined as moving up the value chain. Some country governments were more active than others in developing proactive policies to facilitate and encourage upgrading, which largely corresponds with evidence of successful upgrading. Understanding changes within the industry is critical for insight into the subsequent changes in exports and the effects on workers, and while firms play a key role in upgrading efforts, proactive government policies have been critical to support firm and industry upgrading.