How NAFTA has reshaped the production of clothing in North America
Free Trade and Uneven Development
The North American Apparel Industry after NAFTA
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edited by Gary Gereffi, David Spener and Jennifer Bair
This volume addresses many of the complex issues raised by North American integration through the lens of one of the largest and most global industries in the region: textiles and apparel. In part, this is a story of winners and losers in the globalization process, especially if one focuses on jobs lost and jobs gained in different countries and communities within North America, defined here as: Canada, the United States, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. However, it would be a mistake to view the industry solely in these zerosum terms. The North American apparel industry is an excellent illustration of larger trends in the global economy, in which regional divisions of labor appear to be one of the most stable and effective responses to globalization.
The contributors to this volume are an international and interdisciplinary group of scholars who have all done detailed fieldwork at the firm and factory levels in one or more countries of North America. Taken together the essays offer theoretical and methodological innovations built around the intersection of the global commodity chains and industrial districts literatures, as well as innovative approaches to studying the impact of cross-national, interfirm networks in terms of production and trade issues, and local development outcomes for workers and communities.
"There are no books that I know of that provide such a comparative analysis of the garment industry in light of NAFTA. The chapters all break new ground in their topics, yet are unified by the common theme of North American apparel integration, and the common theoretical framework of global commodity chains. The editors have assembled an impressive array of scholars, and the topic could not be more timely."
"What the reader gets from this book is a subtle and nuanced picture of the effects of trade liberalization and NAFTA on the interfirm linkages, profitability, and employment prospects in the apparel industry...the overall quality of the contributions to this volume is very good."
"[P]rovides an innovative model for analyzing a global industry, and will be very useful to students of international development, industrial relations, and economic sociology."
List of Tables and Figures
Part I: Analytical Overview
Part II: The Changing Face of the Apparel Industry in the United States
Part III: The U.S.-Mexico Border Region
Part IV: Interior Mexico
Part V: Central American and the Caribbean
Part VI: Conclusion
About the Contributors
Gary Gereffi is Director of the Markets and Management Studies Program at Duke University. He is the co-editor of Commodity Chains and Global Capitalism (with Miguel Korzeniewicz) and Manufacturing Miracles: Paths of Industrialization in Latin America and East Asia (with Donald L. Wyman).
David Spener is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. He is the co-editor (with Kathleen Staudt) of The U.S.-Mexico Border: Transcending Divisions, Contesting Identities.
Jennifer Bair is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Yale University.
Contributors: Araceli Almaraz, Edna Bonachich, Jorge Carrillo, Clemente Ruiz Durán, Alfredo Hualde, Judi A. Kessler, Martha Martínez, Dale T. Mathews, Jorge Mendoza, Michael Mortimore, Florence Palpacuer, Enrique Dussel Peters, Michael J. Piore, Fernando Pozos Ponce, Robert J.S. Ross, Robert van Dooren, Ulrik Vangstrup, and the editors.