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GT Nexus Study Finds US Consumers Concerned TPP Will Negatively Impact Safety Standards Overseas

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Almost one-third of U.S. consumers would pay up to 20 percent more for apparel produced responsibly stateside.

That’s according to a recent survey of 1,123 Americans conducted by market research firm YouGov and global supply chain platform GT Nexus, which found that respondents showed significant concern about ethical and responsible production, particularly in clothing and footwear but also in food and beverage and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals.

To that end, 45 percent of consumers said they would pay more for clothing and footwear that was made ethically and sustainably in the U.S. rather than overseas and 30 percent said they would pay up to 5 percent more. In addition, 25 percent of respondents said that they actively sought out sourcing origin information when making their last purchase.

“A lot of this stems from consumer education. We’re seeing more people—including a lot of celebrities—get behind this topic, which really influences consumer behavior,” Leela Rao, retail marketing manager at GT Nexus, said. “The more we know, the more selective we might be with regards to our purchasing decisions. As consumers become more empowered with information about production, we can expect a growing demand for goods that are ethically and responsibly produced.”

Separately, YouGov and GT Nexus surveyed another 1,000 U.S. consumers to get their perspective on Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and discovered that 27 percent are more concerned about the potential for lower controls on the quality and safety of goods produced overseas than they are about any potential benefits to the economy.

By comparison, only 14 percent who expect a positive economic impact from TPP think it will outweigh any potential concerns about the quality and safety of overseas production.

“Theoretically, TPP should improve trade in emerging regions and bring more structure and stability. This can open the door to greater accountability and transparency into production in those regions, but it can be a long road,” Rao offered. “Since most goods are produced across many factories and countries—one place for buttons, another for inseams, for example—keeping track of a trail might feel cumbersome, but in the end will shed light to consumers and create more opportunities for trade.”

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