Factors Affecting Leather Industry in U.S.A
There are several factors affecting leather industry in U.SA. From 1940s and 1950s, more than half of leather shoes from America were filled with non-leather materials. Various synthetics and fabrics were used in making the uppers of these shoes. This made buyers in other countries to develop a negative perception of leather shoes from U.S.A.
Practices in the leather industry in U.S.A were also wasteful and careless. Improper curing and handling spoiled many hides before getting to the tannery. Parasites and insects were not controlled properly and they damaged the quality of the leather that got into the tannery. The impression developed was that, leather from U.S.A is of low quality and unsuitable for making leather products.
In the tanneries, the practices were the same. Outmoded and slow processes were adopted in the tanneries. Tanning chemistry was not embraced in the tannery. Experience of past leather tanning was embraced in the industry. Little or no innovation was embraced in the industry.
In addition, leather industry in U.S.A was associated with pollution. This is because tannery wastes were not disposed off safely. The leather industry was associated with streams pollution. People viewed the leather industry as a source of pollution instead of an economically viable industry.
This bad start for the leather industry has continued to haunt it up to the present day. The industry lacks sufficient support from the local market and community. Not many people are interested in investing in the leather industry. This has made the leather industry in the U.S.A to always lose in the competition for investors to other industries.
Free trade also affects the leather industry in U.S.A. About 60 percent of the global population lives outside the U.S. Similarly, most of the users of the U.S leather products are situated outside the U.S. As the leather industry in the U.S.A continues to grow, more market is needed for leather products. However, with free trade other countries are also allowed to export their leather products to U.S.A. This poses stiff competition to the leather industry in US both domestically and internationally.
Other countries such as China and South Korea are growing their leather industries at a very fast rate. These countries have relatively cheap labor for the leather industry as compared to U.S.A. the countries are flooding the market with leather products at relatively low prices making it hard for the US leather industry to compete with them effectively.
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