Vietnam Waits in the Wings

Catalogers considering alternative suppliers outside of China may want to look at Vietnam as a source of merchandise. A trade agreement reached at the end of April between importers and the U.S. Commerce Department expanded the rights of U.S. companies to import from Vietnam. According to the National Retail Federation, the agreement limits imports from Vietnam to $1.65 billion over a 12-month period, compared with $952 million in 2002. On average, imports will be allowed to increase 7% annually for cotton products and 2% annually for wool.