With the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) being renegotiated, the Montreal fashion industry is making sure that their operations remain relevant and aligned with the agreements.
Elliot Lifson, the vice-chair of Montreal-based Peerless Clothing, states, “everybody thinks the industry disappeared and we’re all off-shore, but there’s lots of jobs.”
In fact, his company employs 1,200 people in Montreal and he continues to operate a major factory there.
Furthermore, fashion industry members have stated that the current NAFTA agreements have been working for them. In particular, the Tariff Preference Level provision is especially important to Lifson as it “allows Canadian garment manufacturers to use fabric, yarn and wool imported from outside the NAFTA zone in Canadian-made clothes.”
With respect to the renegotiations, industry members remain optimistic, yet realistic.
“Of course there are uncertainties, but what we have to remember is the measures that are now in place are very good and positive for both sides, the companies in the U.S. and the companies in Canada are very satisfied and like the agreement as it is,” said Debbie Zakaib, the executive director of mmode. “I’m sure we’ll come to an agreement that will please both.”
We love this type of spirit and are truly hoping for the best, too.