U.S. net imports of textile and apparel fiber products increased for a third consecutive calendar year in 2015 to the highest on record, reaching 15.7 billion pounds (raw fiber equivalent), compared with 14.5 billion pounds in 2014, according to USDA’s Economic Research Service.
U.S. net imports consist mostly of cotton and manmade fiber products, as demand for linen, wool, and silk products remains relatively small.
With manmade fiber imports expanding steadily in recent years, cotton’s share has declined consistently.
In 2015, ERS reports, cotton textile and apparel products accounted for 44 percent of the total imports, while manmade fibers contributed nearly 49 percent.
By comparison, in 2007, cotton accounted for 56 percent of all textile and apparel imports, while the share of manmade fibers was 37 percent.