Local apparel companies were so freaked out last year about missing the quota cutoff for Chinese imports that they took a lot of their manufacturing operations out of China and into Vietnam (along with other parts of Asia and Central America). This year, the California Apparel News reports, Chinese imports are well under those quotas, while quotas on Vietnamese-made goods will be exhausted this fall. Apparently, employment costs in Vietnam are lower because, unlike China, companies don't face added costs like dorms, food and health care. As noted in the story:
Vietnam has slowly been building up its apparel industry since it first signed a bilateral trade agreement with the United States in 2001. A subsequent trade agreement imposed apparel and textile quotas that went into effect in May 2003. The United States is the only country in the world that has imposed quotas on textiles made in that country after apparel and textile exports to the United States grew very quickly.