NCTO Issues Statement on Biden Administration’s Section 301 Tariff Report, Maintaining Penalty Tariffs on Finished Textiles and Apparel Imports

May 14, 2024

WASHINGTON, DC—National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President and CEO Kim Glas issued a statement today regarding the Biden administration’s announcement on the U.S. Trade Representative Office’s four-year statutory review of Section 301 tariffs.

As part of the USTR’s final report, the administration will maintain penalty tariffs on finished textiles and apparel imports from China and increase tariffs on certain imports of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Statement by NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas

“It was critical that the administration maintain penalty duties on finished textiles and apparel imports from China and increase tariffs on certain imports of personal protective equipment (PPE), and that was an appropriate and foundational decision. However, we believe an opportunity was missed to address China’s continued dominance in the U.S. textile market and to counter the devastating impact of its predatory and illegal trade practices on domestic textile manufacturers and workers.

“Given rapidly deteriorating market conditions, we ask the administration to help level the playing field to further increase tariffs on finished textile and apparel and certain inputs, as the industry is facing severe economic headwinds due to China’s dumping of products on our market that are flooding the world stage and displacing critical U.S. investments.

“The domestic textile and apparel industry is an integral part of the military and public health industrial base, and a key supplier of critical PPE items that are essential to our national health security. Regrettably, China’s unchecked foreign predatory trade practices coupled with a lack of customs enforcement and misguided trade policy proposals have created an unstable market dynamic that is threatening the future of domestic textile manufacturing.

“The flood of under-valued, subsidized and illegal imports from China is undercutting the competitiveness of domestic textile manufacturers, 17 of which have closed in the past several months – including three announcements over the last few days.  Furthermore, we need the administration and Congress to immediately close the de minimis loophole that is further undermining all trade enforcement efforts and astonishingly rewarding the Chinese with duty free access to the U.S. market regardless of 301 tariffs.

“While the Section 301 tariffs on finished textile and apparel imports help to partially counter China’s unfair trade advantages, subsidized Chinese textile and apparel inputs, including those made from slave labor in Xinjiang where 20 percent of global cotton is produced and where man-made fibers like rayon have been tied to forced labor, continue to undermine this vital industry. 

“Furthermore, China has been dropping its prices since the tariffs took effect to convince sourcing agents to stay loyal despite the risks. According to U.S. import data, the dollar value per square meter equivalent of textiles and apparel from China fell an astounding 34 percent over from $1.21 per SME in 2018 to $0.80 for the most recent 12-month period ending March 2024.

“According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, China has increased its textile and apparel shipments to the U.S. by a stunning 20.5% during the first quarter of 2024. Over the same period, our most critical coproduction partners in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and Dominican Republic-Central America- Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) regions are down 45.2% and 4.6% respectively. The Western Hemisphere is down an incredible 31.9% so far this year. The message is clear: China continues to take Western Hemisphere market share as they flood the world stage directly and indirectly, with subsidized and often illegal exports of textile and apparel products.

“We commend the administration for substantially increasing tariffs on certain Chinese imports, including electric vehicles, solar products and batteries, as part of their review. This moment calls for an increase in tariffs on finished textile and apparel imports. We recognize there are many sectors suffering at the hands of China’s illegal and predatory activity, and the substantial increase in penalty tariffs on these imports by the administration was warranted—just as they are in the U.S. textile sector.

“To have maximum and meaningful impact for the vital American textile industry, the administration must consider dramatically increasing tariffs on finished textile and apparel imports from China, similar to the levels announced in certain sectors today.  Ramping up tariffs on finished textile and apparel imports would help equal the playing field and restore this industry’s competitiveness and address China’s predatory behavior destroying critical jobs in this strategic industry that supplies lifesaving products for our U.S. military and our PPE industrial base.”

###

NCTO is a Washington, DC-based trade association that represents domestic textile manufacturers.

  • U.S. employment in the textile supply chain was 501,755 in 2023.
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $64.8 billion in 2023.
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $29.7 billion in 2023.
  • Capital expenditures for textiles and apparel production totaled $2.27 billion in 2021, the last year for which data is available.

CONTACT:

Kristi Ellis

Vice President, Communications

National Council of Textile Organizations

kellis@ncto.org |  202.281.9305

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2024 STATE OF THE U.S.TEXTILE INDUSTRY ADDRESS

We welcome you all here today as we celebrate 20 years of advocacy and impact in our nation’s capital on behalf of the U.S. textile industry.

NCTO represents the full spectrum of the U.S. textile sector – a production chain that employs 502,000 workers nationwide and produces almost $64.8 billion in output annually. We are an essential industry that equips U.S. warfighters and one that pivoted overnight to produce PPE during the COVID pandemic.

The U.S. textile industry has made significant investments in the U.S. Its innovations are unparalleled and its contribution to local communities and the U.S. economy is critical. 

While the domestic textile industry is a key contributor to the U.S. economy and critical part of the military and public health industrial base, our sector is facing a crisis of historic proportions as the result of rapidly deteriorating market conditions coupled with unchecked foreign predatory trade practices and diminished customs enforcement activities. 

On the economic front last year, our industry saw historic inflationary pressures, a severe global slowdown, weak consumer demand, a glut of retail inventory that translated into poor demand for future orders of textiles, and a contraction in manufacturing.

The fallout also extends beyond our borders to hemispheric partners – parties to U.S. free trade agreements, including CAFTA-DR and USMCA – who, along with U.S. textile producers, form an integrated, vertical textile and apparel co-production chain and represent the counterweight to production in Asia. 

To address these troubling trends, the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) has been highly engaged with industry allies in Congress and the Biden administration to confront the severe crisis and challenging issues facing the industry.

NCTO hosted or participated in numerous congressional and administration visits throughout 2023 and into early 2024.

In July, NCTO executives and staff united to participate in a critical Washington fly-in and met with some of the most powerful members of Congress as well as the nation’s top trade chief.

We outlined policies critical to NCTO membership including: closing the de minimis loophole, strengthening Customs enforcement, holding China accountable, strengthening our domestic procurement laws, maintaining the yarn-forward textile rule in CAFTA-DR and other trade agreements, and passing the Farm Bill and Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB), which are so critical to our domestic industrial base.

We are literally making national news every night on de minimis. This is no longer an issue that is on page 3 of national news; it’s on the front pages of the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Time Magazine. 

This is a massive, coordinated effort involving NCTO and our industry leaders who have had significant accomplishments that have turned the tide and changed the trends of conversations in Washington.

 We cannot thank those members enough who do so very much to support our activities and go way above and beyond.

Especially given the velocity of things coming at us this year – several members repeatedly came to town like Andy Warlick, Eddie Ingle, David Smith, and so many more listed on the projected slide.

We met with the highest levels of the cabinet and the highest levels of the Congress. Our industry’s effectiveness, breadth, and prowess was noticed by all and the urgency of what we were asking for as an industry became a huge priority for everyone in Washington – no matter the party affiliation.  Just last week, Secretary Mayorkas and the DHS team responded to our urgent calls for a significantly stepped up textile and apparel enforcement plan to help address trade fraud – and that wouldn’t have happened without the concerted effort by the NCTO staff and the members who engaged here in Washington, DC.

NCTO’s work is noted at the highest levels of our government. In July, President Joe Biden made an historic visit to NCTO member Auburn Manufacturing Inc., elevating the U.S. textile industry’s profile and reinforcing its competitiveness and economic contribution. This is the first visit to the industry by a sitting President in decades.

I would like to sincerely thank our staff, led by NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas and the entire hard working NCTO team, as well as our industry leadership for successfully navigating through challenging economic times and polarization in Congress, while partnering with the administration and key congressional offices to secure a number of critical achievements last year.

NCTO’s effective advocacy efforts resulted in a long list of accomplishments in 2023, including: intensifying pressure on Congress and the administration to close the de minimis waiver system and step up enforcement of UFLPA and import fraud; safeguarding the integrity of our free trade agreements; enhancing government procurement of U.S. textile-based products; and maintaining a strong position on China trade enforcement, including tariffs on finished textile and apparel.

Before laying out NCTO’s policy wins in 2023, I want to quickly recap how the industry fared “by the numbers” last year.

BY THE NUMBERS

Given the economic and trade headwinds the industry faced in 2023, the fact that the industry only registered slight declines in some of the key metrics is testament to its resilience and strength.

•    In 2023, the value of U.S. man-made fiber, textile, and apparel shipments totaled an estimated $64.8 billion compared with $67.4 billion, in shipments in 2022. [1]

Here are additional key industry facts:

•    U.S. exports of fibers, textiles and apparel were $29.7 billion in 2023 compared with $33.9 billion in 2022. [2]

•    The United States is the second largest individual country exporter of textile-related products in the world. 

•    The U.S. textile and apparel industry invested $20.9 billion in new plants and equipment from 2012 to 2021, the last year data is currently available for this figure.  Recently U.S. manufacturers have opened new facilities throughout the textile production chain, including recycling facilities to convert textile and other waste to new textile uses and resins.[3]

Onshoring and nearshoring trends continued to strengthen Made in USA production and our vital co-production chain with the Western Hemisphere, while NCTO continued to press for effective enactment of policies in Washington aimed at expanding Berry and buy American rules to fuel growth in American-made products for the military, PPE and federal agencies.

At the end of the day, some key fundamentals for the U.S. textile industry remained sound, while others weakened due to the issues outlined above. We remain committed to growing our businesses and working with the administration and Congress to help shape effective policies that will ensure future expansion of this vital and strategic industry.

While we expect to see ongoing challenges this year, which will test our resolve, we know collectively as an industry this will not weaken our resilience or our innovative spirit.

POLICY ISSUES    

Now, I would like to highlight a few accomplishments NCTO staff achieved during the year.

CUSTOMS  ENFORCEMENT

NCTO actively engaged with the administration and Congress to press for stepped up enforcement against unfair trade practices by China and other foreign competitors, sounding the alarm on the damaging impact this fraudulent activity is having on U.S. textile producers and our Western Hemisphere trade partners.

We called on CBP to immediately step up enforcement against: slave labor in supply chains under the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, fraudulent origin claims under free trade agreements, “de minimis” shipments that facilitate illegal trade, largely bypass duties and inspection, and put the industry at a competitive disadvantage.

Another significant accomplishment was coordination on a bipartisan letter led by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) calling on U.S. Customs and Border Protection to ensure Chinese companies aren’t evading U.S. laws against forced labor and costing American jobs, by stepping up oversight and enforcement provisions in trade agreements with Central American and North American trading partners. 

As a result of these efforts, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced a comprehensive textile enforcement plan to address enforcement concerns raised by the industry just last week – this plan made the top of the Wall Street Journal.

DE MINIMIS

The Section 321 De Minimis provision continued to be at the forefront of congressional scrutiny and hearings, with both Democrats and Republicans weighing in with concerns on this legal provision in U.S. trade law.

The impact of this loophole is devastating, facilitating nearly 4 million imported shipments a day that may contain goods made with forced labor, counterfeits, toxic products, and illicit narcotics such as fentanyl.

NCTO leaders held several meetings with lawmakers and the administration and testified at a key congressional hearing and a roundtable, amplifying the critical need to close this loophole that is hurting our members and giving China a duty-free backdoor to our market.  We worked with allies like Rep. Dan Bishop who held 2 hearings drawing attention to de minimis and how it makes policing the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act impossible  NCTO and our industry is leading the way to close this loophole.

In addition several members of Congress weighed in with letters to President Biden to close this loophole, including a joint letter from Senators Sherrod Brown and Rick Scott, a separate letter led by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, and a letter led by Rep. Rosa DeLauro.

Three bills were introduced in 2023 (including bills from Sen. Sherrod Brown and Rep. Earl Blumenauer) to combat de minimis abuse.

In February this year, NCTO worked to build a coalition of diverse stakeholders to launch the Coalition to Close the De Minimis Loophole, representing thousands of voices, from the families of victims of fentanyl fatalities and nonprofit and nonpartisan organizations to labor unions, domestic law enforcement associations, domestic manufacturers, and business associations. 

Several coalition members participated in a press conference with Rep. Blumenauer and other congressional members to elevate the issue, which was covered by several news outlets and have sent numerous communications to the Hill.

There are numerous other issues requiring NCTO’s focus and resources, such as advocating for full enforcement of the Make PPE in America Act, amplifying support for the Section 301case against China’s intellectual property abuses, promoting tariffs on finished products and the need to pass a new Miscellaneous Tariff bill with immediate and full retroactivity.

Due to time constraints, I cannot delve into all these important issues. But please know that without exception, NCTO is highly engaged on every policy matter that affects the U.S. textile industry with the intent of shaping policy determinations in a manner that directly benefits U.S. textile investment, production and workforce. 

Industry leadership and involvement is of paramount importance. From contributions to NCTO’s TextilePAC to arranging congressional visits, the industry can make a difference and help raise the level of awareness about its importance to the overall U.S. economy and workforce, and to the local and state economies it supports.

CONCLUSION:

The business environment for the year ahead will continue to be rife with challenges for our industry and will likely lead to additional plant closures and layoffs, which we have already seen in the first quarter of 2024.

But I remain cautiously optimistic for the following reason: NCTO’s strong advocacy on behalf of the industry in helping institute policies that support our industry, reform ill-conceived policies, and fend off challenges to our strong free trade agreement rules.

In 2024, we will continue to engage with Congress and the administration on critical policy issues impacting our industry and I am confident we will achieve positive policy wins for this industry as a unified voice in Washington.

We will continue to work in conjunction with our Western Hemisphere trading partners and capitalize on the onshoring and nearshoring trends that we are seeing and strengthen our co-production chain, investment and employment.

That concludes my formal remarks.

On a personal note, I have been honored to serve as chairman of a highly effective organization and dedicated staff and I know I hand it over to our new Chairman, who is well-positioned to navigate the headwinds and trade battles.

I truly am optimistic about the innovative strength of the industry and its resilience to economic and trade challenges. With the support of this effective trade and lobbying organization in Washington, we can overcome unforeseen challenges and continue to cement our position as an integral sector to the U.S. economy and the Western Hemisphere.


[1] U.S. Census Bureau, Manufacturers’ Shipments, Inventories, and Orders (M3) Survey, and Annual Survey of Manufacturers (ASM), value of shipments for NAICS 313, 314, 315 & 32522. 2021 data used to estimate 2023 NAICS 32522 ­figure.

[2] U.S. Department of Commerce data for Export Group 0: Textiles and Apparel.

[3] U.S. Census Bureau, Annual Capital Expenditures Survey (ACES), NAICS 313, 314 & 315.

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NCTO Praises DHS Textile and Apparel Enforcement Plan as a Critical Step to Combatting Pervasive Customs Fraud & Predatory...

April 5, 2024

WASHINGTON – National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President and CEO Kim Glas issued a statement welcoming the textile enforcement plan released by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas today as a critical step to combatting import fraud and circumvention of free trade agreement rules and trade laws.

The plan outlines pillars and action items that are essential to improving customs enforcement in response to a wide range of illegal trade practices, as well as fraudulent activities that are worsening the economic crisis facing the U.S. textile industry. The DHS plan comes in response to the industry’s active calls for increased enforcement under free trade agreements (FTAs) and trade and tariff laws.

Statement by NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas:

“We strongly commend DHS for the release of a robust textile and apparel enforcement plan today. We also greatly appreciate Secretary Mayorkas’ personal engagement in this urgent effort and believe it’s a strong step forward to addressing pervasive customs fraud that is harming the U.S. textile industry.

The essential and vital domestic textile supply chain has lost 14 plants in recent months. The industry is facing severe economic harm due to a combination of factors, exacerbated by customs fraud and predatory trade practices by China and other countries, which has resulted in these devastating layoffs and plant closures. DHS immediately understood the economic harms facing the industry and deployed the development of a critical action plan.

NCTO has been actively engaged with administration officials including meeting with Secretary Mayorkas to call for an aggressive public enforcement plan and strong penalties to deter fraud and illegal trade practices that are undermining the domestic industry’s competitiveness. As a result of that meeting, Secretary Mayorkas immediately directed DHS personnel to construct a comprehensive textile and apparel enforcement plan, and we are grateful to DHS for swiftly implementing this urgent plan. 

Our industry requested DHS and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) take the following essential actions to mitigate this economic harm and to maximize civil and criminal penalties for trade predators, while also creating a significant public awareness campaign. 

The industry requests included:

  • Ramped up textile and apparel enforcement with regard to Western Hemisphere trade partner countries, including onsite visits and other targeted verification measures to enforce rules of origin as well as to address any backdoor Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) violations.
  • Increased UFLPA enforcement to prevent textile and apparel goods made with forced labor from entering our market, including in the de minimis environment. Immediate expansion of the UFLPA Entity List, isotopic testing, and other targeting tools.
  • Intensified scrutiny of Section 321 de minimis imports and a review of all existing Executive Branch authorities under current law to institute basic reforms to this outdated tariff waiver mechanism.  

We welcome the textile enforcement plan which centers around five elements, including: robust inspections and enforcement of UFLPA; expanding audits and increasing foreign verifications of our free trade agreement rules of origin; increasing inspections and testing of small internationally shipped packages in the de minimis environment; expanding the UFLPA Entity List to identify bad actors in the textile environment; and building stakeholder awareness. Taken together, these actions can help combat an alarming rise in fraud, transshipments, and illegal trade in our sector.  We appreciate that these enforcement activities have already been initiated— even before the plan was announced— including increased inspections, audits, and other targeting procedures related to our FTAs and UFLPA.  We value these efforts and the increased public awareness that those who violate trade laws will be held accountable to the maximum extent possible as an effort to deter fraud and uphold the integrity of our critical trade rules. 

We encourage CBP to continue doing the necessary onsite and other verifications to curb rampant fraud and circumvention of FTA and forced labor trade laws. This intensified enforcement will lead to more transparency in textile and apparel supply chains, which support 500,000 U.S. textile workers and 2 million workers in co-production partnerships within the Western Hemisphere.

It’s critical these ongoing actions are backed up by strong civil and criminal penalties to act as a deterrent to bad actors who have been circumventing rules and trade laws and harming U.S. textile and apparel producers as well as our Western Hemisphere trade partners. Punishing the bad actors quickly and amplifying these penalties are essential measures to deterring the illegal trade that is undermining this essential sector.

We also appreciate DHS ramping up inspection of de minimis packages. While this plan is specific to textile and apparel enforcement, it’s important to note that we are aware that the administration is also exploring other avenues, including regulatory changes, to address concerns regarding de minimis shipments. This was a critical request made by our industry and many other stakeholders. We commend the administration’s expeditious review and urge them to close de minimis to the maximum extent possible under their current authorities. This loophole in U.S. trade law facilitates 4 million duty-free packages a day, putting a significant strain on CBP resources, making it virtually impossible to enforce U.S. laws, and significantly hurting domestic manufacturers and retailers.

We also urge Congress, without delay, to pass critically needed comprehensive de minimis reform legislation, given the urgency of the situation and the economic harm this loophole is causing.

We look forward to continuing frequent communication with the CBP and DHS teams to ensure effective enforcement of our trade laws and trade agreements as part of these ongoing and intensified activities for our sector.

We are grateful for all the strong bipartisan support on the Hill in amplifying the urgency of the needs of our sector.  Our industry stands ready and willing to do whatever is necessary to help ensure this plan is a success in stopping predatory trade practices and fraud from undermining this critical industrial base in order to help drive business back home. We are grateful to Secretary Mayorkas and the entire DHS team for this essential plan and are committed to working with DHS in full support of these upgraded enforcement activities. NCTO also looks forward to Secretary Mayorkas’ keynote speech at our annual meeting on April 9th in Washington, D.C.”

###

NCTO is a Washington, DC-based trade association that represents domestic textile manufacturers.

·   U.S. employment in the textile supply chain was 501,755 in 2023.

·   The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $64.8 billion in 2023.

·   U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $29.7 billion in 2023.

·   Capital expenditures for textiles and apparel production totaled $2.27 billion in 2021, the last year for which data is available.

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CONTACT:

Kristi Ellis

Vice President, Communications

National Council of Textile Organizations

kellis@ncto.org |  202.281.9305

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U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai Visits Glen Raven as USTR Seeks Input from Textile Sector on Domestic Supply Chain...

March 22, 2024

WASHINGTON –Glen Raven hosted United States Trade Representative (USTR) Ambassador Katherine Tai in an important visit to the company’s state-of-the-art yarn spinning manufacturing facility and headquarters for its Sunbrella® flagship brand in Burlington, N.C. followed by an industry supply chain roundtable today.

Ambassador Tai’s visit coincides with USTR’s Federal Register notice for public input to inform the administration’s development of trade and investment policy initiatives related to a domestic supply chain resilience plan.

USTR has highlighted domestic textiles as a critical part of the supply chain. The textile sector, which includes yarns, fabrics, apparel and other finished goods, will be part of its fact-finding investigation into shaping policy tools that could be deployed to enhance supply chain resilience. The office is requesting input on policies that are currently working well for these sectors, and those that are not working well, in advancing domestic supply chains.

“We are deeply honored to host Ambassador Tai at our Sunbrella headquarters and yarn-spinning facility in Burlington, North Carolina to demonstrate how the right trade policies can help bolster domestic manufacturing facilities such as ours, facilitate employment, and lead to the expansion and growth of this vital manufacturing sector,” said Glen Raven CEO Leib Oehmig. “We are appreciative of USTR’s review of the strategic textile sector as it diligently examines and shapes policies that will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the entire U.S. textile industry.

During our tour, we highlighted the importance of Glen Raven’s contribution to our local communities and to the overall U.S. economy, while also underscoring the need for strong trade policies to maintain a vibrant domestic supply chain. Our industry has been navigating severe economic and global trade headwinds over the past several months and we sincerely appreciate Ambassador Tai’s commitment to gaining first-hand insight into the challenges confronting our industry in the global trade arena and continuing the dialogue we had here today.”

National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President and CEO Kim Glas said, “We want to sincerely thank Ambassador Tai for visiting Glen Raven today. We believe USTR’s development of supply chain resilience policies is a strong step in the right direction for helping secure the U.S. textile supply chain into the future.”

The Ambassador’s visit to Glen Raven included a tour of the Sunbrella facilities, a design and innovation center, and a roundtable discussion with several other textile executives based in North Carolina who highlighted the significant impact of the sector to the U.S. economy.

Glen Raven, a family-owned company founded in 1880, operates five manufacturing facilities in North and South Carolina employing 2,500 people, including their joint venture with Shawmut Corporation. The company is currently in the process of scaling a $250 million multi-phase U.S. capacity expansion plan of its facilities and infrastructure to meet customer demand.

###

NCTO is a Washington, DC-based trade association that represents domestic textile manufacturers.

·   U.S. employment in the textile supply chain was 501,755 in 2023.

·   The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $64.8 billion in 2023.

·   U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $29.7 billion in 2023.

·   Capital expenditures for textiles and apparel production totaled $2.27 billion in 2021, the last year for which data is available.

DOWNLOAD RELEASE

CONTACT:

Kristi Ellis

Vice President, Communications

National Council of Textile Organizations

kellis@ncto.org |  202.281.9305

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NCTO CEO Tells U.S. International Trade Commission Unfair Trade Practices of 5 Asian Apparel Sourcing Countries Mirror Those of...

March 11, 2024

WASHINGTON – The rise in U.S. imports from five Asian apparel producing countries with ultra-low cost pricing structures and ties to China must be scrutinized closely to bring about a recalibration of U.S. trade policies and mitigate the damage to the vital domestic textile supply chain, National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President and CEO Kim Glas told the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC).

Glas testified before the USITC today as part of research the Commission is conducting on the export competitiveness of Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, and Pakistan. The findings will be included in a report titled “Apparel: Export Competitiveness of Certain Foreign Suppliers to the United States,” which the Commission will submit to the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office.

“While the domestic textile industry is a key contributor to the U.S. economy and critical part of the military and public health industrial base, our sector is facing a crisis of historic proportions as the result of rapidly deteriorating market conditions coupled with unchecked foreign predatory trade practices and diminished customs enforcement activities,” Glas said in her testimony. “Building up to and coinciding with the economic depression that our industry is now facing has been the ascent to top supplier status of the five countries that are the subject of today’s hearing.

“This is no coincidence, and it is imperative to understand and document what makes them so competitive, as well as how this growth has impacted domestic production and the larger Western Hemisphere production chain, to inform the necessary U.S. policy response and recalibration,” she added.

“Unethical cost reduction practices and predatory trade activities plague global textile and apparel production and markets,” Glas said, pointing to the Rana Plaza garment complex disaster in Bangladesh in 2013 that killed over 1,100 people and injured 2,500, as well the most recent U.S. Department of Labor’s List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor released in September 2023, which listed four of the five countries currently under review.

To reverse the current trajectory of this import surge and stop the damage to the U.S. textile industry, Glas recommended the following:

  • Reject proposals to expand Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) product coverage to textiles or apparel
  • Close the De Minimis tariff loophole
  • Dramatically ramp up customs and trade remedy activities
  • Address predatory trade behaviors with effective penalties to deter unfair practices

See a link to the full testimony here.

###

NCTO is a Washington, DC-based trade association that represents domestic textile manufacturers.

  • U.S. employment in the textile supply chain was 538,067 in 2022.
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $65.8 billion in 2022.
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $34 billion in 2022.
  • Capital expenditures for textiles and apparel production totaled $2.27 billion in 2021, the last year for which data is available.

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CONTACT:

Kristi Ellis

Vice President, Communications

National Council of Textile Organizations

kellis@ncto.org |  202.281.9305

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NCTO Releases Statement Welcoming Textile Enforcement Plan Outlined by Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas

January 31, 2024

WASHINGTON – National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President and CEO Kim Glas issued the following statement today welcoming a comprehensive textile enforcement plan outlined by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, following a meeting with several textile industry leaders.

The meeting came in response to increased calls for stepped up textile and apparel enforcement and penalties, as well as the use of the administration’s authorities to close the de minimis loophole hurting the domestic textile industry and its workers.

A readout of the meeting from the office of DHS Secretary Mayorkas can be found here.

Statement by NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas:

“The U.S. textile industry greatly appreciated meeting with DHS Secretary Mayorkas and the senior leadership team on the unprecedented economic calamity facing this strategic supply chain. We discussed how the administration can immediately help our workers and industry.

The industry has lost eight plants in three months. Plants that survived the Great Depression, the Great Recession and COVID aren’t surviving the economic environment due to demand destruction exacerbated by unfair trade practices.

Our industry leaders outlined three critical issues for the Secretary:

  • Immediately step up all free trade agreement (FTA) enforcement and maximize penalties
  •  Immediately step up all UFLPA enforcement and maximize penalties
  • Close the de minimis loophole that is facilitating millions of unchecked packages a day into our market and hurting our industry

The Secretary has committed to working with NCTO and industry leaders on a 30-day immediate textile enforcement action plan. We look forward to working actively with the administration on the details of that plan and ensuring it meets all critical objectives for enforcement and deterrence.

We appreciate the Secretary’s engagement with us and the hard work ahead to ensure this critical resilient supply chain is here long into the future.”

###

NCTO is a Washington, DC-based trade association that represents domestic textile manufacturers.

 · U.S. employment in the textile supply chain was 538,067 in 2022

·   The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $65.8 billion in 2022.

·   U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $34 billion in 2022.

·   Capital expenditures for textiles and apparel production totaled $2.27 billion in 2021, the last year for which data is available.

DOWNLOAD RELEASE

CONTACT:

Kristi Ellis

Vice President, Communications

National Council of Textile Organizations

kellis@ncto.org |  202.684.3091

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NCTO Issues Statement Supporting House China Select Committee Leaders’ Letter to Homeland Security Secretary, Urging Him to Strengthen Enforcement...

January 22, 2024

Washington, D.C.—National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President and CEO Kim Glas issued the following statement today in support of a letter from the chairman and ranking member of the House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the U.S. and the CCP, to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, urging him to step up enforcement of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) and crack down on unfair trade practices facilitating the importation of products made with forced labor.

The letter can be viewed here. Attorney General Merrick Garland is copied on the letter.

Statement by NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas:

“We sincerely thank Chairman Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Ranking Member Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) for their letter, calling on Secretary Mayorkas to take immediate action to strengthen enforcement of the UFLPA and aggressively confront predatory trade practices employed by China that are undermining U.S. manufacturers and endangering American citizens.

The government’s failure to fully enforce the UFLPA and the de minimis loophole is devastating US textile and apparel manufacturers. Today, this vital domestic manufacturing industry is facing unparalleled demand destruction as a direct result of market forces that have been exacerbated by anemic customs and trade law enforcement. Chinese cotton from Xinjiang is flooding the global marketplace, making its way to our doorsteps and into our closets. As a result, we need a comprehensive and aggressive solution from the administration to confront these practices head on.

The concerns and steps outlined in the letter by Reps. Gallagher and Krishnamoorthi are critically important. The administration and DHS must step up enforcement of UFLPA, fraudulent origin claims and the gaping de minimis loophole that is facilitating millions of illegal and dangerous products a day to our market.

Without an immediate government solution, this strategic supply chain that produces lifesaving PPE and 8,000 different products for the U.S. military, will continue to shutter factories and lay off workers.

We cannot continue to reward China for egregious trade practices at the expense of American and regional manufacturers and workers. If these steps not taken immediately, we will fail to stop forced labor trade from entering our market and further jeopardize our vital domestic and Western Hemisphere supply chains.”

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NCTO is a Washington, DC-based trade association that represents domestic textile manufacturers. 

  • U.S. employment in the textile supply chain was 538,067 in 2022.
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $65.8 billion in 2022.
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $34 billion in 2022.
  • Capital expenditures for textiles and apparel production totaled $2.27 billion in 2021, the last year for which data is available.

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CONTACT: Kristi Ellis

Vice President, Communications

National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO)

kellis@ncto.org|202.281.9305

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National Defense Authorization Act Aims to Expand Government Procurement of American-Made Goods in Boost for U.S. Textile Industry

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), spanning the entire spectrum of U.S. textiles from fiber to finished sewn products, commended Congress for passing the Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), legislation that will help preserve the Berry Amendment supply chain and direct the Department of Defense to expand its procurement of domestically-made textile goods for military use.

“We applaud the House and Senate for getting NDAA across the finish line and are pleased the legislation will now go to President Biden for his signature,” said NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas. “NCTO sincerely thanks Rep. Don Davis (D-NC) for sponsoring language expressing concern about offshoring textile manufacturing and highlighting the need for the DOD and Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) to procure more domestically-produced textile goods for military use. The language also requires the DOD to report on the feasibility of requiring American-made home textile goods to be used on military installations.”

“We also want to thank Rep. Joe Courney (D-Conn.) who sponsored language expressing concern about economic factors impacting the capacity of the U.S. textile industry to meet DOD requirements and calling on the agency to assess labor shortages, contract forecasting and lack of investment in manufacturing capabilities and report back to Congress.”

Finally, this NDAA report language calls for DOD to report to Congress its assessment of the textile industry as it relates to labor shortages, contract forecasting and lack of investment in manufacturing capabilities. “The domestic textile industry and supply chain are vital to the warm industrial base for the production of critical items that contribute to our nation’s health and safety. It is imperative that Congress and the administration continue to support this industry—a key contributor to our national defense that supplies over 8,000 products a year to our men and women in uniform—through expanded government procurement of American-made items. The NDAA is critical to supporting this manufacturing base.”

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NCTO is a Washington, D.C.-based trade association that represents domestic textile manufacturers.

  • U.S. employment in the textile supply chain was 538,067 in 2022.
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $65.8 billion in 2022.
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $34.0 billion in 2022.
  • Capital expenditures for textiles and apparel production totaled $2.27 billion in 2021, the last year for which data is available.

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Kristi Ellis

Vice President, Communications

National Council of Textile Organizations

kellis@ncto.org  |  202.684.3091

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The U.S. Government Must Act Now to Step Up Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act Enforcement and Close De Minimis...

October 19, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Unless Congress and the administration take immediate and aggressive action to step up enforcement against China’s predatory trade practices, the massive surge of imports arriving daily containing apparel made with slave labor, dangerous narcotics, and counterfeits will continue to imperil consumers, ravage our communities, and devastate the vital U.S. manufacturing base.

That is the strong message being delivered by National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President and CEO Kim Glas who is testifying at a congressional hearing today on “Exploitation and Enforcement: Evaluating the Department of Homeland Security’s Efforts to Counter Uyghur Forced Labor.”

See her written testimony here and view the livestream of the Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations and Accountability hearing here.

“Chinese cotton products made with forced labor in Xinjiang, in the most abhorrent conditions, are flooding the global marketplace, making their way both directly and indirectly to the U.S.,” Glas said, noting that around 72 percent of all Chinese cotton products contain Xinjiang cotton, leading to forced labor textiles and apparel leaking into supply chains in the U.S. and our free trade agreement regions. “As a result, American textile plants have been forced to idle equipment and lay off workers, while some companies have been put out of business entirely.

“Not only are we failing to stop forced labor trade that Congress explicitly acted to address through the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA), but we are rewarding China with duty-free access under the de minimis provision of our trade law.  The de minimis loophole has become a superhighway for illicit goods as a result of ineffective rulemaking and a lack of adequate congressional action and it’s a threat to us all,” Glas said.

Congress should take the following steps to counter these practices:

  • Get aggressive on oversight of customs enforcement of UFLPA and require Customs officials to testify regularly. Detail to Congress and the public a robust forward-leaning enforcement plan to crack down on this illegal trade, increase penalties and other deterrent mechanisms, and include measurable benchmarks for enforcement for this sector and beyond.
  • Close the de minimis loophole for e-commerce with a legislative fix to address the flood of fentanyl, forced labor goods, and counterfeits and pressure the administration to immediately use its executive authorities to close it. This trade is uncontrollable and impossible to monitor; it makes enforcement of UFLPA impossible.
  • Urge the administration to utilize and expand the UFLPA Entity List more robustly as a deterrent. To date, only 27 entities have been placed on the list and all operate within China. Expand the list and include companies outside of China.
  • Aggressively step up enforcement, inspections, and penalties to include more testing, including verification visits in our free trade agreement partners, and coordination.

“I want to sincerely thank Subcommittee Chairman Dan Bishop (R-NC) and Ranking Member Glenn Ivey (D-MD) for holding this important oversight hearing,” Glas said.

“Consider this: Billions of dollars’ worth of Chinese apparel coming through the de minimis loophole and tainted by forced labor, is getting VIP treatment on its way straight to our front doors, at the expense of workers and manufacturers in the U.S. and our critical regional supply chains. This is all rewarded by the U.S. government. We must stop China’s forced labor regime and support American companies and workers who are being exploited as a result,” Glas added.

“This is an economic fire, a health fire, and human rights fire — and we need it extinguished immediately. An aggressive enforcement plan, coupled with a set of rational revisions to the outdated and now extremely dangerous de minimis loophole in our trade law would prevent the continuation of this devastation, but Congress and the Executive Branch must decisively act now.”

###

NCTO is a Washington, DC-based trade association that represents domestic textile manufacturers.

  • U.S. employment in the textile supply chain was 538,067 in 2022.
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $65.8 billion in 2022.
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $34 billion in 2022.
  • Capital expenditures for textiles and apparel production totaled $2.27 billion in 2021, the last year for which data is available.

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CONTACT:

Kristi Ellis

Vice President, Communications

National Council of Textile Organizations

kellis@ncto.org |  202.684.3091

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NCTO Commends Bipartisan Group of Senators for Calling on President Biden to Crack Down on China’s Predatory Trade Practices...

WASHINGTON, D.C. – National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President and CEO Kim Glas issued a statement today, applauding the actions of a bipartisan group of senators who are raising alarm about the impact of China’s predatory trade practices on the U.S. textile and apparel industry and calling on President Joe Biden to lead a multi-agency effort to substantially step up enforcement and develop a strategic plan to combat it.

In the letter to President Biden, the senators warned that without immediate and improved enforcement against these predatory trade practices, the U.S. textile and apparel sector faces a “coming disaster.”

The letter, led by U.S. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH), was also signed by Senators Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Ted Budd (R-NC), J.D. Vance (R-OH), Tim Scott (R-SC), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Ben Ray Luján (D-NM).

Please see a link to their joint press release here.

NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas, said: “I want to thank Senator Tillis and Senator Brown for leading these efforts and strongly commend the bipartisan group of senators for taking the lead in calling on President Biden and the administration to take urgent action to address a wide range of illegal trade practices that are severely impacting the U.S. textile and apparel industry.”

“The industry is being overwhelmed by a multitude of compounding factors, including a lack of effective customs enforcement, unfair trade practices fueled by a loophole in U.S. trade law known as ‘de minimis’ shipments, import fraud undermining our free trade agreements (FTAs) and their rules of origin, and forced labor in our supply chains making their way into the United States and through other markets,” Glas said.

The senators’ letter calls on the administration to take the following specific actions:

  • Step up enforcement of forced labor subsidized textiles and apparel flooding into our FTAs
  • End duty-free treatment for clothing made with forced labor under de minimis
  • Review all executive authorities to hold China accountable for its predatory trade practices

“To maintain the industry’s operations and competitiveness, the administration must take immediate steps to increase its enforcement activities and crack down on systemic abuse that is undermining the very fabric of our domestic textile supply chain and its workforce,” Glas added.

###

NCTO is a Washington, DC-based trade association that represents domestic textile manufacturers. 

  • U.S. employment in the textile supply chain was 538,067 in 2022.
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $65.8 billion in 2022.
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $34 billion in 2022.
  • Capital expenditures for textiles and apparel production totaled $2.27 billion in 2021, the last year for which data is available.

DOWNLOAD RELEASE

CONTACT: Kristi Ellis

(202) 684-3091

www.ncto.org

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