The Capturing the Gains research network assesses the relationship between economic and social upgrading in global production networks in four sectors; apparel, agro-foods, mobile phones, and tourism. This paper details the findings of the apparel sector research team, with a focus on public governance, specifically trade policy. The paper elaborates the consequences of post-MFA/ATC quota removal for social upgrading and then turns to an analysis of the effect of trade policy instruments that continue to shape global apparel manufacture and trade, particularly the role of regional trade agreements, preferential market access, rules of origin, duty and tariff rates. The paper draws on Capturing the Gains research projects carried out in or on 17 countries to examine the effects of these policies across four low-income regions; East Asia (China, Cambodia, and Vietnam), South Asia (Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka), North Africa and the Middle East (Morocco, Egypt, and Jordan), Sub-Saharan Africa (South Africa, Lesotho, Kenya, Mauritius, and Madagascar), and Central America and the Caribbean (Nicaragua, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic).
Pickles, J. Economic and social upgrading in apparel global value chains: public governance and trade policy. (2012) 126 pp. ISBN 978-1-907247-87-3 [Capturing the Gains Working Paper 2012/13]