Western Europe and the United States tend to import rather than export finished goods in the textile industry (Epiro, 2005).
As China improves its standing in the textile industry, the rest of the world is not sitting by idly. Instead, there is increased competition at all levels of the textile market, with particularly intense competition in the low- and medium-priced fabrics. As with any industry, price is always a consideration in the textile industry, but some nations are positioning their fabrics as providing higher quality and thus capable of commanding a higher price. This is the case with Korea and Turkey as they compete with China (Epiro, 2005).
The textile industry has also suffered in recent years from the perception that workers are poorly paid and work under harsh conditions. Factories in Asia in general and China in particular have faced considerable criticism in this regard. Manufacturers and retailers in the United States are anxious to avoid any association with sweatshop labor, for example, and thus are conducting more frequent inspections of facilities where their goods are manufactured and are demanding better conditions for workers. This can be challenging for companies in those countries that compete directly with China, although the reforms sought by American companies have had a "ripple" effect throughout the industry as a whole (Becker, 2005).