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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Biden Administration Awards $6.5M Contract to US Cotton LLC to Ramp Up Production of American-Made Polyester Tipped Swabs

WASHINGTONThe Biden Administration has awarded a contract for $6.5 million to U.S. Cotton LLC, the largest manufacturer of cotton swabs in the United States, to increase domestic production capability for polyester tipped swabs for home testing kits and mass testing applications to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.  Since the beginning of the pandemic, U.S. Cotton has retooled operations to produce over 400 million COVID testing kit swabs.

The Department of Defense (DOD), in coordination with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), announced the award today as part of the administration’s broader effort to increase domestic production capability for essential medical supplies.

U.S. Cotton, based in Cleveland, Ohio, said the company will increase its production capacity from 92 million polyester swab tips per month to approximately 371 million polyester swab tips per month by May 2022 to support domestic COVID-19 testing. The DOD contract award was funded through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to support the domestic industry base expansion for critical medical resources.

John Nims, President of U.S. Cotton said, “We are proud to be involved in a national effort to help deploy these testing kit swabs for the American people. These swabs are designed to make it easier for people at home to self-administer coronavirus tests and will also be used for mass testing applications, which is critically important. We greatly appreciate the collaboration with DOD and HHS to ramp up essential capacity of polyester-based synthetic swabs that will help in the fight against the pandemic.

“We continue to step up to meet our nation’s critical need for American-made coronavirus testing kit swabs on a massive scale. It is an honor to work with our government to help fight this pandemic and use our innovative technologies based here in the United States to fill a national and global demand for testing kits. I especially want to thank Senator Brown and Senator Portman for all their incredible support to help us retool and expand our operations in Cleveland. We can’t thank them enough for their tireless work and also want to recognize their hard working staff. As the Delta variant surges across the country, this timely investment will help in the fight against COVID by adding this much-needed, long-term surge capacity.”

Kim Glas, President and CEO of NCTO, said, “We want to sincerely thank President Biden, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Health and Human Services for leading this critical industrial expansion effort. We appreciate the administration’s commitment to expand the U.S. industrial base for these essential products.  We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to onshore these critical supply chains long-term and we look forward to working with the administration and Congress to advance long-term solutions.”

The Department of Defense (DOD), in coordination with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), announced the award today as part of the administration’s broader effort to increase domestic production capability for essential medical supplies.

U.S. Cotton, based in Cleveland, Ohio, said the company will increase its production capacity from 92 million polyester swab tips per month to approximately 371 million polyester swab tips per month by May 2022 to support domestic COVID-19 testing. The DOD contract award was funded through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to support the domestic industry base expansion for critical medical resources.

John Nims, President of U.S. Cotton said, “We are proud to be involved in a national effort to help deploy these testing kit swabs for the American people. These swabs are designed to make it easier for people at home to self-administer coronavirus tests and will also be used for mass testing applications, which is critically important. We greatly appreciate the collaboration with DOD and HHS to ramp up essential capacity of polyester-based synthetic swabs that will help in the fight against the pandemic.

“We continue to step up to meet our nation’s critical need for American-made coronavirus testing kit swabs on a massive scale. It is an honor to work with our government to help fight this pandemic and use our innovative technologies based here in the United States to fill a national and global demand for testing kits. I especially want to thank Senators Brown and Portman for all their incredible support to help retool and expand our operations in Cleveland.  As the Delta variant surges across the country, this timely investment will help in the fight against COVID by adding this much-needed, long-term surge capacity.”

Kim Glas, President and CEO of NCTO, said, “We want to sincerely thank President Biden, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Health and Human Services for leading this critical industrial expansion effort. We appreciate the administration’s commitment to expand the U.S. industrial base for these essential products.  We have a once- in-a-generation opportunity to onshore these critical supply chains long-term and we look forward to working with the administration and Congress to advance long-term solutions.”

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NCTO is a Washington, DC-based trade association that represents domestic textile manufacturers, including artificial and synthetic filament and fiber producers. 

  • U.S. employment in the textile supply chain was 585,240 in 2019. 
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $75.8 billion in 2019. 
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $29.1 billion in 2019. 
  • Capital expenditures for textile and apparel production totaled $2.5 billion in 2018, the last year for which data is available.

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Kristi Ellis, VP Communications

kellis@ncto.org  |  202.684.3091

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NCTO Welcomes Senate Passage of Infrastructure Bill; Guarantees Long-Term Contracts for Domestic PPE

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 Senate 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 personal protective equipment (PPE).

“We commend the Senate for passing the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which will provide critical resources for our nation’s aging infrastructure and at the same time help incentivize the reshoring of personal protective equipment (PPE) production, an important priority of the U.S. textile industry,” said NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas.

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; 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.

“We sincerely thank Senator Portman and Senator Peters for working to include their Make PPE in America Act in the infrastructure bill,” Glas said. “This bill will help onshore critical production of personal protective equipment (PPE) by guaranteeing long-term contracts for domestically produced PPE and ensuring that taxpayer dollars are utilized to bolster the federal purchase of American-made PPE.

The U.S. manufacturing industry has produced over a billion lifesaving PPE and other medical products over the last year, as NCTO members retooled production chains in response to the nation’s needs. We will continue to urge the government to purchase Berry-compliant products containing 100 percent domestic content for PPE to help bolster the full U.S. production chain in the future.”

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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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