NCTO Welcomes House Passage of America COMPETES Act; Helps Close De Minimis Loophole

WASHINGTON—The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), representing the full spectrum of U.S. textiles from fiber through finished sewn products, issued a statement today welcoming House passage of the America COMPETES Act, a legislative package that will help close the de minimis loophole on duty-free imports from China and also renew the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB), both important provisions to U.S. textile manufacturers.

“We commend the House for passing this sweeping legislation, which contains several critical trade provisions beneficial to American manufacturers,” said NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas. “This legislation contains a provision that would effectively prohibit China from exploiting the Section 321 de minimis mechanism in U.S. trade law, a win for U.S. textile producers and workers.”

“We sincerely thank Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) for working diligently to include and preserve his Import Security Fairness Act in the underlying U.S. competitiveness bill. This bill would help close the de minimis loophole, which allows imports valued under $800 to come into the United States without paying duties and taxes, bypassing inspections by U.S. Customs and providing a backdoor to Chinese goods produced with forced labor. The loophole has not only fueled the rise of imports from foreign e-commerce companies and mass distributors, but it has also put our domestic manufacturers and workers at a competitive disadvantage.”

Another important provision in the legislation renews the MTB for two years, which would extend limited tariff relief on a range of manufacturing inputs used by U.S. textile producers.

In closing, NCTO’s Glas stated: “NCTO worked closely with our allies in the House on these provisions in the underlying bill and we commend their hard work and support. We will continue to push for these critical provisions that benefit the U.S. textile industry in Senate-House conference negotiations in the coming days.”

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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 530,000 in 2020.
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $64.4 billion in 2020.
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $25.4 billion in 2020.
  • Capital expenditures for textiles and apparel production totaled $2.38 billion in 2019, 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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Independent Study Highlights Benefits of U.S.-CAFTA-DR Agreement and Devastating Impact of Weakening Agreement’s Rules

WASHINGTON—The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), representing the full spectrum of U.S. textiles from fiber through finished products, issued a statement today on the release of an independent study examining the valuable economic and societal impact of the U.S.-Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR), and the significant adverse impact of proposals aimed at weakening the agreement’s rules of origin.

The economic study conducted by Werner International highlights the importance of maintaining the current rules of origin in the agreement, which supports more than one million jobs in the U.S. and the region and $12.5 billion in two-way trade and has fostered significant and impactful investments in manufacturing and apparel production. The study also finds various proposals aimed at weakening the agreement’s carefully negotiated and longstanding textile rules of origin would severely harm the region and U.S. and result in massive job, investment, and export losses.

“The Werner report comes at a pivotal time, as the global supply chain crisis and concerns over forced labor in Xinjiang have sparked a shift in sourcing out of Asia and a renewed focus on nearshoring and onshoring jobs back to the Americas. As outlined in this report, the U.S-CAFTA-DR agreement is a critically important and deeply economically impactful agreement that has fostered a co-production chain for textiles and apparel supporting over one million jobs in the region and the U.S,” said NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas. “This is due to a key element of the agreement called the ‘yarn forward rule of origin,’ a unique investment-based rule that ties lucrative duty-free access to the U.S. market to investment in yarn, fabric, and cut-and-sew production in the region and the U.S.”

Glas added, “We appreciate the broad bipartisan support, including from the administration, for maintaining the essential yarn forward rule of origin and ensuring those rules are not eroded through harmful changes. This common support for preserving the provision is vital to the bipartisan efforts focused on ushering in a new era of American manufacturing prowess and economic prosperity. Conversely, the report found that weakening the rules by adding ‘flexibilities’ such as cumulation and short supply changes would exacerbate the migration crisis by devastating our industries and further tether us to our counterparts in Asia, including China.”

Jan Urlings, Vice Chairman of Werner International, stated, “In our examination of the economic and societal impact of the U.S.-CAFTA-DR agreement, we found the current benefits of the agreement support a strong and vertically integrated co-production chain that has contributed significantly to investment and economic stability in the region and the United States. A major aspect of our report examined how various proposals aimed at weakening the rules of origin would impact the region and the U.S. The data overwhelmingly demonstrates that the current co-production chain would be undermined by subsidized Asian/Chinese fabrics and yarns whether directly or indirectly through a third party, would devastate direct and indirect textile employment and investment in the U.S., the region and the entire Western Hemisphere.  It would also exacerbate enforcement issues associated with Xinjiang cotton produced with forced labor.”

The study goes on to find that if brands and retailers made a commitment to double exports from CAFTA-DR to the U.S under the current rules, it would result in an additional 180,000 U.S. textile jobs, 2.17 million new jobs in the CAFTA-DR region, and conservatively $6 billion in new investments in the U.S. and region.

Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), Textile Caucus Co-Chair, stated, “Imports from China and other countries that use forced labor and other predatory trade practices have crippled our manufacturing industries and destroyed millions of U.S. jobs. The manufacturing of cotton products and other goods from Xinjiang have tainted our supply chains and helped perpetuate the Chinese Communist Party’s continued human rights atrocities. As global supply chains are recalibrating to nearshore and onshore textile and apparel production chains under the rules of origin in our Hemispheric trade agreements, we must strongly reject efforts to erode those essential rules that support textile and apparel jobs in the U.S. We must not allow China backdoor access to these critical markets, which will further hurt our own industries and reward China and other countries with direct and indirect preferential tariff access.”

Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), Textile Caucus Co-Chair, stated, “The global supply chain crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic has exposed our severe overreliance on China.  This report showcases that onshoring and nearshoring of this critical production chain is critical for the U.S. textile industry and workers in the CAFTA-DR region.  The US-CAFTA-DR trade agreement has spurred hundreds of millions of dollars of investment because of the strong rules of origin that support this co-production chain.  Any erosion of these rules would harm American producers and exacerbate the immigration crisis.  As supply chains are pivoting, we must seize on the opportunity for growth in good paying jobs in both the U.S. and the region and end our overreliance on China.”

Key Findings from Werner report:

1. Adverse consequences to adding flexibilities to/weakening the yarn forward rule:

  • Destroys U.S. and Western Hemisphere textile employment, with a total projected loss of more than 307,000 U.S. textile and cotton farming jobs and a loss of 250,000 jobs in Central America’s primary textile industry.
  • Devastates U.S. cotton farmers, currently employing 115,000 people in 18 states. Projected sales drop of 30% for U.S. and Western Hemisphere cotton growers.
  • Provides direct and indirect backdoor access to Chinese textile inputs, further perpetuating Xinjiang forced labor.
  • Chills future investment and destabilizes current investment in region. Over $1 billion in capital investments have been made in CAFTA-DR countries since 2005, which have helped create a vertical regional production chain. Weakened rules place major future and long-term U.S. investments at risk.
  • Severely undermines defense procurement under the Berry Amendment and the domestic warm industrial base supplying mission critical items to U.S. armed forces. More than two-thirds of the U.S. textile and apparel industry would be wiped out, destabilizing the domestic textile military industrial base and its ability to meet surge production in times of military mobilization.
  • Cripples efforts to construct a viable domestic/nearshoring supply chain for personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Exacerbates the flow of immigration, undermining the administration’s intended goal of spurring economic development in the region to address the root causes of outward migration.
  • Exponentially increases greenhouse carbon emissions through transpacific shipping and Asian coal-fired energy.

2. Proactive steps to help improve the competitive position of CAFTA-DR region:

  • Better coordination among lending agencies of the federal government, such as the U.S. Agency for International Development, Inter-American Development Bank, and Export-Import Bank, to ensure targeted, strategic investment in this sector and competitive low or zero interest financing and loan guarantees.
  • Support for a comprehensive infrastructure plan with targeted, high-impact investments and competitive loans to upgrade regional power grids, roads, and local ports would pay immediate dividends.
  • Provide incentives to the Western Hemisphere co-production chain for carbon emission reductions and sustainable products.
  • Ensure trade stability in the region by maintaining maximum pressure on China, including enforcing the U.S. ban on cotton and cotton products made with forced labor in Xinjiang.
  • Refrain from changing cumulation and short supply process, which would lead to a surge of third-country yarns and fabrics and displace hundreds of thousands of jobs in the region and U.S.
  • Oppose granting duty-free access and other benefits through an expansion of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program to apparel and textiles and negotiating free trade agreements with major Asian suppliers.
  • Close the de minimis loophole for imports from China that allow goods valued at $800 or less to enter duty free if imported by one person on one day.

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CONTACT: Kristi Ellis | (202) 684-3091 | www.ncto.org

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Vice President Kamala Harris Announces New Investments in Northern Central America Highlighting NCTO Member Parkdale Mills at White House...

WASHINGTON—Vice President Kamala Harris announced significant multimillion-dollar investments by Parkdale Mills and six other companies today, as part of the Administration’s Call to Action to the private sector to promote economic opportunity in the region, as her office works to address the root causes of migration.

Vice President Harris, who is overseeing diplomatic efforts with El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico, announced several private sector commitments to strengthen economic opportunities in the Northern Triangle and will make remarks later today at a White House roundtable, which will include Anderson Warlick, Chairman and CEO of Parkdale Mills. The textile and apparel co-production chain is one of the most essential supply chains for employment and economic development in both the United States and the Northern Triangle region, currently supporting over 1 million jobs in the United States and the Central American region. The Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) and its strong rules of origin are the primary reasons this co-production chain exists, which is seeing significant growth this year.

North Carolina-headquartered Parkdale Mills, one of the largest manufacturers of spun yarn and cotton consumer products in the world, will make a multimillion-dollar investment in a new yarn spinning facility in Honduras and make an additional substantial investment to support existing operations in Hillsville, Virginia. This investment will help customers shift 1 million pounds of yarn per week away from supply chains in Asia and China and enhance U.S. and CAFTA-DR co-production resilience and increase regional product offerings. Parkdale’s announced investment will create hundreds of jobs in Honduras and further support hundreds of employees in Parkdale’s Hillsville operations. 

Recently, administration officials from the U.S. Trade Representative’s office and the Vice President’s office met with the U.S. textile industry to reaffirm the importance of rules of origin in nearshoring production chains, helping address labor and environmental challenges and mitigating supply chain risk.

“I would like to sincerely thank Vice President Harris for making this announcement and leading the effort with private industry to create more economic opportunities in northern Central America and the United States,” said Anderson Warlick, Chairman and CEO of Parkdale Mills. “Parkdale’s investments will support good paying jobs in the United States and in the Central American region and significantly increase our extensive product offering and capacity, including the production of sustainable specialty yarns.

Parkdale sees an enormous opportunity for brands and retailers to re-shore and nearshore production supply chains and double the size of U.S.-CAFTA-DR trade, because of the rules of origin in our trade agreement and a shift in sourcing by brands and retailers mitigating their supply chain sourcing risks.  We are excited about what this opportunity means for jobs in the U.S. and the region for this critical production chain and couldn’t be more thrilled to be part of this effort.  We look forward to working with the Vice President and her team on strengthening the textile and apparel production chains in the U.S. and region.”

National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President and CEO Kim Glas, said, “This is an exciting and important announcement by Parkdale and Vice President Harris. Our industry has invested billions of dollars in the U.S. and in the region as a result of the investment-based rules of origin in the CAFTA-DR agreement, which ensures the job benefits of the agreement are reserved for the parties to the agreement.  Additional substantial announcements on further investment in textile and apparel production are expected soon.

As brands and retailers are seeking more environmentally sustainable, vertically integrated, transparent, and quick turnaround supply chains, our collective industries stand ready to work with companies that are seeking to mitigate sourcing strategies as Asian supply chains have faced enormous production constraints.  Further verticalization in the industry, like Parkdale’s announcement today, allows broader product diversification and grows jobs across the textile and apparel production chain.

We are thrilled with today’s announcement because it is a win-win for American and Central American workers and our environment and a huge opportunity to further recalibrate supply chains out of China and Asia. This valuable co-production chain between the U.S. and the CAFTA-DR region accounts for $12 billion in two-way trade and billions of dollars of investment. Significant growth is occurring in our sector and is expected to continue as supply chains continue to recalibrate.  We are delighted about this today’s announcement and appreciate the Administration’s strong support.”

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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 530,000 in 2020.
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $64.4 billion in 2020.
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $25.4 billion in 2020.
  • Capital expenditures for textiles and apparel production totaled $2.38 billion in 2019, the last year for which data is available.

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CONTACT: Kristi Ellis

(202) 684-3091

www.ncto.org

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NCTO President & CEO Kim Glas Testifies on Supporting U.S. Industry in Face of Unfair Chinese Trade Practices at...

WASHINGTON, DC—NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas is testifying today at a hearing on “Supporting U.S. Workers, Businesses, and the Environment in the Face of Unfair Chinese Trade Practices” before the House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee at 10:00 a.m. ET.

In written testimony submitted to the committee, Glas outlines China’s rise to dominance of global textile and apparel production and its adverse impact on the U.S. textile industry, details ways to strengthen onshoring and nearshoring of supply chains, and provides recommendations on the critical policies needed to address these illegal trade practices and rectify inequities.

“China holds the dubious distinction of being the world’s leading purveyor of illegal trade practices that are designed to unfairly bolster a blatantly export-oriented economy,” NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas says. “These predatory practices take many forms, from macroeconomic policies that grant across-the-board advantages to their manufacturers, to industry specific programs intended to dominate global markets in targeted areas. The U.S. textile industry has been a longstanding victim of China’s predatory export practices.”

“China’s virtually unlimited and unrealistic pricing power coupled with its subsidies and lack of enforceable labor and environmental standards strips benefits and undermines policy objectives throughout the U.S. free trade and preference program structure,” Glas further notes.

“A program of maximum pressure must be developed and fully enforced to reconfigure textile and apparel sourcing patterns that currently place an unhealthy and heavily weighted dependance on China,” Glas adds. “With a strong trade policy holding China accountable, the opportunities are ripe to unlock further domestic and regional investment to bolster this critical textile and apparel production chain because of the important rules of origin for this sector.  We can nearshore more production, help address the migration crisis, and assist in addressing the urgent issue of climate change and create a win-win-win for workers in the United States, workers in the region, and consumers.”

Glas outlines key policy recommendations to the committee, including:

  • Enact tax incentives and other targeted critical investments to strengthen Western Hemisphere trade relationships and re-shore manufacturing
  • Close the Section 321 De Minimis Tariff Loophole
  • Step up enforcement of forced labor of Uyghurs and others in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR)
  • Firmly maintain Section 301 penalty duties on China for finished textiles and apparel products
  • Immediately pass the MTB to help manufacturers with a limited list of critical inputs not made in the U.S. and review/close the mechanism in the MTB renewal which allows for finished products
  • Strengthen buy-American practices for PPE and other essential products
  • Block expansion of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) to include textile and apparel products
  • Use trade enforcement in free trade agreements to mitigate transshipment schemes by unscrupulous importers seeking to illegally circumvent duties

Please view the full written testimony by NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas here.

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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 530,000 in 2020.
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $64.4 billion in 2020.
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $25.4 billion in 2020.
  • Capital expenditures for textiles and apparel production totaled $2.38 billion in 2019, 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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NCTO Welcomes Biden Administration’s New and Transparent Buy American Waiver Process

WASHINGTON—National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President and CEO Kim Glas issued a statement today welcoming the Biden administration’s launch of new database and waiver process for government contract solicitations made under the Buy American Act.

National Council of Textile Organizations President and CEO Kim Glas issued the following statement:

The U.S. textile industry sincerely thanks the Biden Administration for developing a transparent waiver process for government procurement under the Buy American Act, which will effectively allow U.S. companies competing for government contracts to review submissions for waivers under the Buy American law.

We also want to acknowledge the incredible work that Celeste Drake, the administration’s Made in America Director, has completed on this effort.

This new process will require federal agencies to enter proposed non-availability waivers into a digital portal for review by the Made in America Office (housed within the Office of Management and Budget), before an agency can grant a waiver to foreign entities bidding for a government contract. It will be an extremely helpful tool that will provide transparency to the solicitation process and give U.S. textile companies and the larger public the ability to provide feedback on proposed waivers, as well as completed waivers. (Proposed waivers will be posted and available for review on the MadeInAmerica.gov website. The process for reviewing waivers will be progressively implemented throughout all federal agencies, beginning with smaller government agencies on Jan. 1, 2022.)

The U.S. textile industry has been a staunch, long-term supporter of buy American rules for federal procurement. From the standpoint of U.S. national security, it is essential that America have vibrant manufacturing supply chains that can rapidly and effectively respond to critical demands in times of crisis. Whether it is from a military defense perspective or in relation to a healthcare emergency, such as the current COVID pandemic, the U.S. should never be reliant on offshore sources for vital materials needed to keep our citizens and nation safe.

Buy American rules help incentivize domestic production while stimulating more investment in U.S. manufacturing. But the current law has a waiver mechanism that allows the federal government to purchase goods made by major global competitors in the textile and apparel sector when a mission-critical product is not made in the United States or available at a reasonable cost.  

Now, the administration’s new waiver process and database will provide more transparency in the U.S. government procurement process, which will only stand to benefit U.S. textile companies, who can use the information to better understand potential business opportunities and work to provide American-made products.

We believe it is critical that taxpayer dollars are used to invest in American manufacturing and our workforce. This new process is a positive step in supporting our industries and workers.

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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 530,000 in 2020.
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $64.4 billion in 2020.
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $25.4 billion in 2020.
  • Capital expenditures for textiles and apparel production totaled $2.38 billion in 2019, the last year for which data is available.

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CONTACT: Kristi Ellis

(202) 684-3091

www.ncto.org

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NCTO Commends House Passage of Infrastructure Package; a Step Forward in Reconstituting a Domestic PPE Supply Chain

WASHINGTON—The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), representing the full spectrum of U.S. textiles from fiber through finished products, issued a statement today welcoming House passage of a bipartisan infrastructure bill that will provide billions of dollars in new spending to revitalize the nation’s roads, bridges and railways and help reconstitute a domestic supply chain for face masks, isolation gowns and other personal protective equipment (PPE).

“We commend the House for getting the bipartisan infrastructure bill across the finish line today, and we are pleased the legislation will now go to President Biden for his signature. This is the first step in a long-term strategy that is critically needed to permanently onshore PPE production to ensure our nation is prepared for the next health security crisis,” said NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas. “This infrastructure package will help incentivize the reshoring of PPE production by guaranteeing long-term federal contracts and expanding Berry Amendment rules to more federal agencies’ purchases of PPE products, important priorities of the U.S. textile industry.”

NCTO worked with congressional allies to include a version of the Make PPE in America Act, legislation co-sponsored by Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) and Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), in the infrastructure legislative package. The bill ensures all PPE purchased by the Departments of Homeland Security, Health and Human Services and Veterans Affairs are Berry Amendment-compliant (containing 100 percent domestic content); guarantees long-term contracts (a minimum of two years) to U.S. manufacturers; and creates a tiered preference for PPE made in the Western Hemisphere by our free trade partners using U.S. components, after domestic manufacturing capacity has been maximized.

“This bill within the infrastructure package will help onshore critical production of critical medical supplies, ensuring that taxpayer dollars do not go to China and other offshore PPE producers but are instead utilized to bolster the federal purchase of American-made PPE,” Glas said. “In fact, applying these strong procurement rules across our government for purchases of PPE will unequivocally lead to investments in this sector and help onshore this industry longer term.  We can’t thank Senator Portman and Senator Peters enough for their unwavering support.

“The U.S. manufacturing industry has produced over a billion lifesaving PPE and other medical products over the last year, demonstrating that domestic textile manufacturers have the technical capabilities and existing capacity to make the United States fully sufficient in terms of our national PPE needs.

“But this sufficiency will only permanently materialize if several proper government policies are put in place that incentivize the long-term investment to bring PPE production back onshore. This will require several steps, including incentives for the private sector to purchase American-made PPE; best-value contracting principles for federal purchases; and further industrial expansion efforts under the Defense Production Act (DPA) for U.S. textile and apparel production. This Berry amendment and long-term contracts provision is a critical first step and we are thrilled that it was included in the bipartisan infrastructure package that will be signed into law in the coming days.”

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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 530,000 in 2020.
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $64.4 billion in 2020.
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $25.4 billion in 2020.
  • Capital expenditures for textiles and apparel production totaled $2.38 billion in 2019, 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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NCTO Launches Video Campaign Highlighting Heroic Healthcare Workers & U.S. PPE Supply Chain; Calls for Strategic Government Plan to...

WASHINGTON—The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), representing the full spectrum of U.S. textiles, from fiber through finished sewn products, released an illuminating video and social media campaign today detailing the heroic efforts of U.S. textile manufacturers to supply desperately needed medical personal protective equipment (PPE) at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The video features interviews with healthcare workers who confronted a once-in-a-generation health crisis and American textile and apparel executives, who came together to manufacture lifesaving PPE as the pandemic intensified and, once again in 2021, when President Biden issued a call to deliver 20 million American-made face masks for underserved communities in 60 days.

To view the video and Call to Action, please click here.

NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas, said, “Our video, ‘American Textiles: The Story of American-Made PPE,’ underscores the need for urgent government support of a vital domestic PPE supply chain, while also shining a light on an agile manufacturing engine that grew out of the pandemic and is fully capable of supplying our nation’s PPE.  I want to sincerely thank all of our partners who participated in this film and commend the critical domestic textile supply chain that ramped up a thousand times over during the pandemic to respond to the crisis overnight. 

These supply chains reconstituted overnight will be predominantly offshored if we don’t get critical policy solutions over the finish line.  There is a sense of urgency to this work and getting this down.  Highlighting this important effort to key policy makers is part of our education campaign.”

Davis Warlick, executive vice president, Parkdale Mills: “Parkdale is proud to be part of the domestic supply chain that provided 20 million reusable, American-made face masks to the administration for underserved communities, in addition to the effort that has produced more than a billion critical medical items since the pandemic began.  This video captures an incredible American story of companies coming together to build a supply chain virtually from scratch to provide desperately needed PPE for our frontline workers and citizens.  By procuring 100% American-made masks, the government put thousands of workers across the United States to work and further proved that the U.S. textile industry has the expertise, capacity, and capability to thrive when given the opportunity.”

Gabrielle Ferrara, chief operating officer and owner of Ferrara Manufacturing: “This film vividly portrays the incredible resiliency of our industry to ramp up and produce critical PPE, delivering it quickly to those who need it the most. This is a story of American innovation and the dedication and teamwork of our manufacturing base and frontline workers, all of which demonstrated true heroism in the face of a once-in-a-generation health crisis. We greatly appreciate the administration’s support of our workforce; the men and women at our facilities were tremendously dedicated in producing millions of masks, gowns, and other lifesaving items. We are also thankful for the strong support and partnership of Workers United/SEIU to help bolster this critical supply chain.”

The National Council of Textile Organizations is asking the U.S. government to take bipartisan action to:

NCTO would like to acknowledge all of the companies involved in this critical supply chain and extend a special thanks to the SEIU/Workers United and their healthcare workers who participated. Please see a list of our partners who made this happen here.

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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 530,000 in 2020.
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $64.4 billion in 2020.
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $25.4 billion in 2020.
  • Capital expenditures for textiles and apparel production totaled $2.38 billion in 2019, 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  |  202.281.9305

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NCTO Issues Statement Following President Biden’s Remarks on Global Supply Chain Crisis; Stresses Importance of Onshoring and Nearshoring

WASHINGTON—The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President and CEO Kim Glas issued a statement today following President Biden’s remarks on the global supply chain crisis and stressed the importance of investing onshoring and nearshoring.

National Council of Textile Organizations President and CEO Kim Glas issued the following statement:

We appreciate President Biden’s call to ensure we are building more resilient and reliable supply chains and to invest in our manufacturing industries here at home, in his address earlier today.

There is a reason we got into this mess and there is a reason we have a global supply chain crisis. Years of offshoring production in a race to the bottom –exacerbated by predatory trade practices that have undermined so many manufacturing industries–has led to a tipping point. In fact, it was not too long ago that nurses in New York City and beyond were wearing garbage bags as gowns as our overreliance on Chinese production chains exposed severe fragilities in keeping our health care workers safe during the height of the pandemic.

China’s virtually unlimited and unrealistic pricing power coupled with its subsidies and lack of enforceable environmental standards strips benefits and undermines policy objectives, and leaves us in an untenable situation of overreliance on a foreign supply chain for critical products and raw materials. This must change.

We must hold China accountable for predatory trade practices that have offshored our industries and our jobs. We must onshore and nearshore more textile and apparel production chains out of Asia to the U.S. and also to Western Hemisphere trade partners. This has a multitude of benefits to ensure more reliability in production and also has remarkable job benefits to U.S. manufacturers and our allied trading partners who adhere to higher labor and environmental standards. Further, it will help address the migration crisis and grow better paying jobs.

Now is the time to we need to unlock long-term commitments to source product from the USA and from our Hemispheric partners.  If we moved another 10 percent of global production to the U.S. and the Hemisphere, imagine the benefits that could be achieved.  Ensuring further verticalization and investment in all aspects of the industry, from raw materials to finished products, is good for the American economy and workers in the U.S. and in the region.

Our industry stands ready to help and provide the solutions to onshore and nearshore these production chains that benefit manufacturing workers, the U.S. economy, our Western Hemisphere allies, and consumers.   Further, onshoring and nearshoring these critical production chains has remarkable benefits for the environment and addresses the growing, systemic and alarming issues associated with climate change. 

It is critical that supply chains mitigate risks so that we are never in this situation again.  We appreciate President Biden recognizing the value of onshoring these critical production chains and stand ready to work with the administration in these efforts.

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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 530,000 in 2020.
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $64.4 billion in 2020.
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $25.4 billion in 2020.
  • Capital expenditures for textiles and apparel production totaled $2.38 billion in 2019, 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 Issues Statement in Support of Biden Administration’s New China Trade Policy Framework

WASHINGTON—The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President and CEO Kim Glas issued a statement today following U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai’s speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, outlining the Biden administration’s China trade policy.

National Council of Textile Organizations President and CEO Kim Glas issued the following statement:

We support the Biden administration’s plan outlined today by U.S. Trade Representative, Ambassador Katherine Tai, to enforce the Phase One deal with China and maintain tariffs on finished textile and apparel products. We believe it’s important to hold China accountable for pervasive intellectual property theft and persistent predatory trade practices that have undermined U.S. manufacturers and its workforce.

China’s rampant abuse of intellectual property rights and other illegal trade activity has gone on for far too long at the direct expense of U.S. manufacturers and the loss of millions of U.S. manufacturing jobs. The U.S. textile industry supports the president’s authority to use Section 301 to address China’s unfettered practice of intellectual property theft, which has had a damaging impact on the entire U.S. textile and apparel production chain and other manufacturing industries for decades.

NCTO has strongly supported applying tariffs on finished products in our sector as a key negotiating leverage with the Chinese. NCTO also supports a targeted and limited exclusion process for a small list of inputs such as dyes, chemicals and textile machinery that are not available domestically and that enable U.S. manufacturers to compete in the global marketplace.

We also appreciate the administration’s support for strengthening Buy American policies and investing in the U.S. manufacturing base.  We urge the administration to impose duties on finished medical protective equipment (PPE) to support domestic textile companies that have produced over a billion PPE items since the COVID pandemic began. While tariffs aren’t the only mechanism in the toolbox, it’s necessary to ensure a holistic approach to onshoring and nearshoring these critical supply chains, a key priority for the Biden administration and our domestic manufacturers who ramped up production overnight to help in the current crisis.

Finally, we strongly support the administration’s intention to address broader, systemic issues in our trading relationship with China—specifically, the need to remedy unfair advantages that stem from rampant state ownership of manufacturing and the pervasive use of production and export subsidies that displace U.S. textile manufacturers in markets both at home and abroad. 

We appreciate the Ambassador’s thoughtful approach on addressing these complicated matters in a way that ensures that workers and manufacturing sectors are the center of the trade approach with China.

We appreciate Ambassador Tai and the Biden administration recognizing the critical need for a strong resilient manufacturing sector and look forward to working closely with the administration to implement a strategic vision that helps strengthen our middle class.

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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 530,000 in 2020.
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $64.4 billion in 2020.
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $25.4 billion in 2020.
  • Capital expenditures for textiles and apparel production totaled $2.38 billion in 2019, 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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U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai visits Milliken & Company and American & Efird in Visit Highlighting U.S. Textile Industry

WASHINGTON – Milliken & Company and American & Efird (A&E) hosted United States Trade Representative (USTR) Ambassador Katherine Tai in two separate visits to the companies’ state-of-the-art textile manufacturing facilities today, marking an unprecedented visit to the heart of the U.S. textile industry in the Carolinas by the nation’s top trade chief.

Ambassador Tai’s visit comes at a pivotal time for the U.S. textile supply chain, which produced $64 billion in output in 2020 and employed nearly 530,000 workers. The industry has been at the forefront of a domestic production chain manufacturing over a billion personal protective equipment (PPE) items during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ambassador’s visit to Milliken included a tour of the company’s Magnolia plant in Blacksburg, S.C., and a roundtable discussion highlighting the important role women contribute to textiles, the critical need for policies supporting a domestic supply chain, and the significant impact of the sector to the U.S. economy. Milliken is one of the largest textile companies in the U.S., employing more than 6,000 associates domestically and an additional 1,350 associates globally. Milliken’s Textile Business alone employs 2,500 people across eight counties in South Carolina and is the fourth largest manufacturing employer in the Upstate.

“Milliken is honored to host Ambassador Tai at our Magnolia plant to discuss not only the invaluable contributions we make every day to our community and our nation, but also the importance of sound trade policies that bolster domestic production and the co-production chains we have built, in particular with our Western Hemisphere trading partners,” said Chad McAllister, executive vice president of Milliken & Company and president, Textile Business. “To have Ambassador Tai on-site at one of our U.S. facilities is an opportunity to showcase our breadth of innovation in the industry and our passionate team of American workers who help our business succeed. We are fortunate and thankful for Ambassador Tai’s leadership as well as her commitment to understanding the challenges and opportunities of our industry.”

U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai said, “I want to thank NCTO for organizing this event. As United States Trade Representative, I am committed to helping all of your companies build on the success by finding market opportunities and helping reach new customers. I want to ensure that our trade policy matches the innovation and changes happening in the textiles industry. With your help, we can continue addressing critical issues. In doing so, we will help the textiles industry maintain its competitive edge and ensure it remains a global standard-bearer in the years to come.”

On the second leg of her trip, Ambassador Tai visited American & Efird’s manufacturing facility in Mount Holly, N.C. American & Efird operates as part of Elevate Textiles and its global portfolio of advanced products and distinguished textile brands, including A&E, Burlington, Cone Denim, Gütermann and Safety Components, and representing more than 500 years of textile manufacturing knowledge.

 During the visit, U.S. textile executives spanning the fiber, yarn, fabric, and finished product textile and apparel industry participated in a roundtable with the Ambassador at which they discussed the competitiveness of the domestic industry, outlined priority issues in Washington, such as the importance of the Western Hemisphere co-production chain and ways to jointly support domestic supply chains through Buy American and Berry Amendment policies that help onshore production, spur investment, maintain the safety and security of our armed forces and generate new jobs.

“It was an honor hosting Ambassador Tai at our manufacturing facility in Mount Holly, employing 380 valued associates and just 2 miles from where the company started 130 years ago,” said Sim Skinner, CEO of Elevate Textiles. “A&E maintains a significant manufacturing footprint in the Carolinas with 1,200 total associates, and we contribute significantly to our local community and the entire manufacturing base in the United States, touching every aspect of life, from the threads in Superbowl footballs to flags on the moon and most recently, to the very PPE products protecting our frontline heroes and fellow Americans against COVID-19 and the Space X suits that are orbiting Earth right now.  We had an engaging discussion with the Ambassador on our company’s and industry’s innovation and competitiveness, and on the policy priorities that we believe will help ensure our competitiveness and long-term investment in the domestic textile industry.”

National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President and CEO Kim Glas said, “We want to sincerely thank Ambassador Tai for visiting Milliken and American & Efird today. Her leadership in the international trade policy arena and her understanding of the unique challenges confronting domestic manufacturers and U.S. workers under the international trade system is unparalleled. The U.S. textile industry is one of the most dynamic, innovative industries in the U.S. economy and our co-production chain with our Western Hemisphere trade partners is essential.  Trade policies are essential to this manufacturing sector and workforce. We look forward to working closely with the Ambassador and her office to advance policies that bolster domestic production.

“We are grateful to Ambassador Tai for participating in an engaging and substantive discussion with industry leaders today on a whole host of policies, ranging from the importance of Buy American and Berry Amendment government procurement policies to maintaining strong rules of origins in free trade agreements to the need to address larger systemic trade issues with China.”

About American & Efird (A&E)

A&E, a portfolio company of Elevate Textiles, is the foremost manufacturer and distributor of premium quality industrial and consumer sewing thread, embroidery thread and technical textiles.  Producers of apparel, automotive components, home furnishings, medical supplies, footwear and a diverse range of industrial products rely on A&E industrial sewing thread to manufacture their products.  Customers select A&E as the preferred choice because of A&E’s dedication to providing its customers with the finest products and services, at the highest quality, delivered globally.   In addition to A&E’s steadfast commitment to superior quality and customer service, A&E is a recognized industry leader in environmental sustainability and corporate social responsibility, and operates its global facilities with the utmost regard for the safety and health of its associates employed worldwide. 

About Milliken & Company
Materials science expert Milliken & Company knows that a single molecule has the potential to change the world. With innovative solutions across the textile, flooring, specialty chemical, and healthcare industries, Milliken answers some of the world’s greatest challenges. Named to the World’s Most Ethical Companies list by Ethisphere Institute for 15 straight years, the company meets the moment with an unwavering commitment to delivering sustainable solutions for its customers and communities. Eight thousand associates across 46 locations globally rally behind a common purpose: to positively impact the world for generations. Discover more about Milliken’s curious minds and inspired solutions at milliken.com and on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.  

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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 530,000 in 2020.
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $64.4 billion in 2020.
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $25.4 billion in 2020.
  • Capital expenditures for textiles and apparel production totaled $2.38 billion in 2019, the last year for which data is available.

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Press Contacts:

NCTO

Kristi Ellis

(202) 281-9305

kellis@ncto.org

Milliken & Company

Cammie Mackie

(864)316-3503

Cammie.Mackie@Milliken.com

American & Efird

Kristen Hughes

(704)830-6268

kristen.hughes@elevatetextiles.com

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