Textile Industry Files Comments on Trade Agreement Violations and Abuses

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) filed public comments late yesterday afternoon in response to President Trump’s executive order directing the federal government to investigate violations and abuses of U.S. trade agreements.

“A thorough investigation of trade agreement abuses and violations is long overdue and we appreciate President Trump’s desire to finally review this important matter,” said NCTO President and CEO Auggie Tantillo.

“If America is to fix the systemic problems that plague the international trading structure and stop trade cheats from driving American production offshore, policymakers need a better understanding of the illegal or unfair trade tactics that are being used to hurt U.S. industry, including textiles,” Tantillo finished.

A notice for public comments (82 FR 29622) was issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) on June 29, 2017 pursuant to Executive Order 13796 signed by President Trump on April 29, 2017. Documents associated with this matter are archived under Docket USTR-2017-0010.

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

• U.S. employment in the textile supply chain was 565,000 in 2016.
• The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $74.4 billion last year, a nearly 11% increase since 2009.
• U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $26.3 billion in 2016.
• Capital expenditures for textile and apparel production totaled $2 billion in 2015, the last year for which data is available.

DOWNLOAD RELEASE

# # #

CONTACT: Lloyd Wood
(202) 822-8028

Comments (0) Press Releases, Recent News, Testimony and Statements, Uncategorized

Learn more

NCTO CEO Testifies at USTR NAFTA Hearing, Outlines U.S. Textile Renegotiation Objectives

WASHINGTON, DC – National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President & CEO Auggie Tantillo testified at the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) hearing on Negotiating Objectives Regarding Modernization of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico held in Washington, DC on Tuesday, June 27.

In his remarks as prepared for delivery, Tantillo outlined the U.S. textile industry’s NAFTA negotiating objectives:

“On behalf of the National Council of Textile Organizations, thank you for the opportunity to provide input as USTR develops its objectives for modernizing NAFTA.  NCTO represents the full spectrum of the U.S. textile sector, from fibers to yarns to fabrics to finished products, as well as suppliers of machinery, chemicals, and other products and services with a stake in the prosperity of our industry.  The entire U.S textile manufacturing chain, from fiber through finished sewn products, employs 565,000 workers nationwide.  In 2016, the industry manufactured over $74 billion in output, while exporting more than $26 billion of our production.

We strongly support President Trump’s intention to reopen NAFTA and agree that it can be updated and improved to significantly enhance U.S. textile production, exports, and employment.  The NAFTA region enjoys vibrant fiber, yarn, and fabric sectors in addition to cut and sew capabilities.  As a result, NCTO supports building on the successes of NAFTA through seeking reasonable improvements to the agreement, but not a cancellation thereof, due to the high level of supply chain integration that exists today.

This partnership is evidenced by robust trade flows.  The U.S. textile sector has a demonstrated capability of developing export markets within the NAFTA region.  In fact, Mexico and Canada are our two largest export markets, where U.S. textile and apparel exports topped $11 billion in 2016.  Furthermore, we maintain a positive trade balance in the sector with our NAFTA partners, achieving a $3.5 billion surplus last year.

NCTO does not foresee a need to reinstate tariffs on NAFTA-qualifying trade.  Instead, we recommend a thorough review of the rules of origin to ensure that lucrative tariff benefits are appropriately reserved for manufacturers within the region.  NAFTA is based on a yarn-forward rule of origin for textile and apparel trade, a main driver for the integration that has developed among the three countries.  Yarn forward was originally devised under NAFTA and is the accepted rule for the industry and the U.S. government in every free trade agreement (FTA) since because it reserves key benefits for manufacturers within the signatory countries.  It is also easier to enforce than a value-added rule.

Despite the logic of the yarn-forward structure, most U.S. FTAs, including NAFTA, also contain damaging loopholes in the textile rules of origin.  The most egregious example is tariff preference levels.  Tariff preference levels (TPLs) allow for products to be shipped duty free despite their components, representing the bulk of the value, being sourced from outside countries.  For example, a cotton top, made from Chinese yarn and fabric, can be cut and sewn in Mexico and shipped duty free to the United States.  Consequently, TPLs undermine benefits for NAFTA textile manufacturers, transferring them to non-signatories, such as China, who often use predatory trading practices and have made no market-opening concessions themselves.

Altogether, Mexico and Canada may ship nearly 236 million square meter equivalents of apparel, made-ups, and fabric and 12.8 million kilograms of yarn containing third-party inputs annually under the TPLs.  It is our strong recommendation that the NAFTA TPL regime be eliminated.

Beyond TPLs, there are other yarn-forward derogations, including assembly-only rules for certain garments.  These additional loopholes warrant analysis to determine whether they should be eliminated or adjusted to enhance the benefits for U.S. textile manufacturers under the agreement.   We also believe that there should be a review of certain buy-American concessions that were unnecessarily granted to our NAFTA partners.

As a final point, it is our view that there has been a systematic deemphasis of commercial fraud enforcement at U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) over the past 30 years.  CBP suffers from both a lack of resources and focus particularly considering the layering of new trade agreements and significant increase in imports over this time.  As a result, the benefits of NAFTA are being siphoned off by those willing and able to circumvent U.S. trade laws.  Our sector is especially prone to fraud, noting that textiles and apparel represent 40 percent of all U.S. duties collected, or $14 billion a year.  Clearly, improving NAFTA customs enforcement should be a major focus of this renegotiation.

In conclusion, we fully agree with President Trump that NAFTA can be improved through a set reasonable adjustments to the current text designed to enhance U.S. textile manufacturing and exporting.  Further, we believe that by closing unnecessary loopholes in the agreement and placing a greater emphasis on customs enforcement, all parties throughout the NAFTA region will benefit.  Doing so will help to build on the vibrant textile and apparel production chain in North America that has evolved under NAFTA.

Thank you for your consideration of our views, and NCTO looks forward to working with the Trump administration as the NAFTA modernization effort progresses.”

DOWNLOAD RELEASE

CONTACT:  Lloyd Wood
(202) 822-8028 or lwood@ncto.org

# # #

Comments (0) Press Releases, Recent News, Testimony and Statements, Uncategorized

Learn more

U.S. Textile Industry Files Public Comments on NAFTA Renegotiation Objectives; Eager to Work with President Trump to Improve Deal

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) filed public comments with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) outlining the U.S. textile industry’s priorities in the forthcoming renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  (The comments are pasted at the bottom of this release.)

“The U.S. textile industry welcomes President Trump’s decision to renegotiate NAFTA,” said NCTO Chairman William V. McCrary Jr., Chairman and CEO of William Barnet & Son, LLC, a synthetic fiber/yarn/polymer firm headquartered in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

“It is in America’s national interest to modernize the agreement and NCTO is eager to work with President Trump to make it even better,” McCrary continued.

“Let me be clear: NAFTA is vital to the prosperity of the U.S. textile industry, and NCTO steadfastly supports continuing the agreement.  With that said, NAFTA can be improved to incentivize more textile and apparel jobs and production in the United States, Canada, and Mexico,” McCrary added. 

“Eliminating loopholes that shift production to third-party countries like China and devoting more customs enforcement resources to stop illegal third-country transshipments are two changes that would make the agreement better,” McCrary said.

“We look forward to working with our industry partners throughout the NAFTA region to improve this agreement for all,” McCrary finished.   

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer formally notified Congress on May 18, 2017 that President Trump intended to renegotiate NAFTA.  This action triggered a request for public comments found at 82 FR 23699 and dated May 23, 2017 (Docket: USTR–2017–0006).  That public comment period closes today. 

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

Download Release

CONTACT: Lloyd Wood
(202) 822-8028
lwood@ncto.org

# # #

Comments (0) Press Releases, Recent News, Testimony and Statements, Uncategorized

Learn more

Textile Industry Comments on Causes of Significant U.S. Trade Deficits; Urges Trump Administration to Take Remedial Action to Boost...

WASHINGTON, DC – Four U.S. textile trade associations – the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), American Fiber Manufacturers Association (AFMA), Narrow Fabrics Institute (NFI), and United States Industrial Fabrics Institute (USIFI) – outlined causes of the $95 billion U.S. trade deficit in textiles and apparel and suggested remedial actions for the Trump administration to boost U.S. production and jobs in joint comments submitted to the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) on May 10, 2017.

In addition, NCTO’s Upholstery Fabrics Committee (UFC) submitted a separate statement detailing the reasons for the U.S. trade deficit in upholstery fabrics, focusing on the imbalance with China in particular.

“A trade deficit study like this should have been initiated years ago,” said NCTO President and CEO Auggie Tantillo as he praised President Trump for ordering the review.

“If America is to reverse its trade-related red ink and create more jobs, policymakers must have a better understanding of the policies and economic factors responsible for driving production offshore,” Tantillo added.

The joint NCTO, AFMA, NFI, and USIFI comments as well as the separate UFC statement were submitted in response a notice for public comments issued by the DOC and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) pursuant to Executive Order 13786 signed by President Trump on March 31, 2017.  The order directed those agencies to prepare an omnibus report on significant trade deficits.  The Federal Register notice for public comments is at 82 FR 16721 and is dated April 5, 2017 (DOC 2017-0003). 

NCTO, AFMA, NFI, and USIFI also were signatories to comments submitted by the Manufacturers for Trade Enforcement (MTE) to DOC urging the United States to continue to treat the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as a nonmarket economy (NME) country under U.S. antidumping and countervailing duty law. 

“China’s widespread use of nonmarket economic activities is one of the biggest drivers of America’s trade deficit,” Tantillo said.

DOC’s notice for the NME comments (ITA-2017-0002) was issued as part of the its less-than-fair-value investigation of certain aluminum foil imports from the PRC.

For more information about the U.S. textile industry, please consult the 2017 State of the U.S. Textile Industry address delivered by 2016 NCTO Chairman Robert “Rob” H. Chapman, III at NCTO’s 14th Annual Meeting on March 23, 2017 at the Capital Hilton in Washington, DC.  Chapman’s speech outlined (1) U.S. textile supply chain economic, employment and trade data as well as (2) the 2017 policy priorities of NCTO members. 

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

·       U.S. employment in the textile supply chain was 565,000 in 2016. 

·       The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $74.4 billion last year, a nearly 11% increase since 2009. 

·       U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $26.3 billion in 2016. 

·       Capital expenditures for textile and apparel production totaled $2 billion in 2015, the last year for which data is available.

Download Release

CONTACT:  Lloyd Wood
(202) 822-8028
lwood@ncto.org

 # # #

Comments (0) Press Releases, Recent News, Testimony and Statements, Uncategorized

Learn more

NCTO Welcomes U.S.-China MOU to Terminate Chinese Export Subsidies

2016 04 14 NCTO press statement on US China MOU to terminate Chinese export subsidies

 

April 14, 2016

CONTACT:  Lloyd Wood
(202) 822-8028
lwood@ncto.org

 

PRESS STATEMENT

NCTO Welcomes U.S.-China MOU to Terminate Chinese Export Subsidies

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) applauded today’s announcement of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the United States and China with respect to an agreement by China to terminate export subsidies under its “Demonstration Bases-Common Services Platform”.

“We thank the Obama administration for working diligently to construct an arrangement to eliminate these subsidies which directly damage U.S. manufacturing jobs, output and investment,” said NCTO CEO & President Augustine Tantillo.

“There is no doubt that China’s rise to become the world’s largest exporter of textile and apparel products has been aided by a pervasive series of illegal state-sponsored subsidies,” Tantillo continued.

“These subsidies are clearly inconsistent with the rules of the World Trade Organization, and they are unfair to domestic textile manufacturers and the hundreds of thousands of U.S. workers they employ,” Tantillo added.

“Our companies must play by free-market rules, and it is time that Chinese textile manufacturers do the same,” Tantillo concluded.

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

  • S. employment in the textile supply chain was 579,000 in 2015.
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $76 billion last year, a nearly 14% increase since 2009.
  • S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel are up 38% over that same time period, reaching $27.75 billion in 2015.
  • Capital expenditures for textile and apparel production totaled $2 billion in 2014, the last year for which data is available.

# # #

Comments (0) Recent News, Testimony and Statements, Uncategorized

Learn more

NCTO Welcomes RFT-MII Announcement

2016 04 01 RFT MII Announcement

 

April 1, 2016
For Immediate Release

CONTACT:  Lloyd Wood
(202) 822-8028
lwood@ncto.org

NCTO Welcomes RFT-MII Announcement

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced today that Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA) was selected to lead the Revolutionary Fibers & Textiles Manufacturing Innovation Institute (RFT-MII).

The RFT-MII is a collaborative effort between government and the private sector to accelerate the development of the next generation of highly functional textiles from both a commercial and military perspective.

Total funding is expected to be almost $320 million.  The Department of Defense (DoD) has committed $75 million, a figure matched by almost $250 million in money and other in-kind contributions from the U.S. textile industry and other sources.

The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) welcomed the announcement.  “We are pleased that the RFT-MII has gone from concept to reality,” said NCTO President Augustine Tantillo.  “This investment in advanced manufacturing will add to the substantial ongoing efforts associated with innovation in fiber and textile science in the United States.”

“This long range investment will help the United States maintain its current position as the most innovative and technically advanced textile industry in the world,” Tantillo added.

“We expect that it will ultimately spur jobs and investment in our sector while also making our military stronger,” Tantillo finished, as he noted that domestic industry supplies more than 8,000 different textile products to our warfighters.

President Obama announced the formation of the RFT-MII on March 18, 2015 as part of his National Network of Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) initiative.  The NNMI brings together industry, academia and federal partners to increase U.S. manufacturing competitiveness, by promoting a robust and sustainable manufacturing research and development infrastructure.

There are 579,000 jobs in U.S. fiber, textile and apparel production.  Sector exports were $27.75 billion last year.  Capital investment within industry totaled $2 billion in 2014, an increase of 50 percent since 2009.

NCTO represents domestic textile manufacturers and related industry.  See www.ncto.org.

# # #

Comments (0) Recent News, Testimony and Statements, Uncategorized

Learn more

NCTO Submits Testimony to U.S. International Trade Commission on Impact of TPP

On February 15, 2016, NCTO submitted testimony to the U.S. International Trade Commission on the potential impact of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on the U.S. textile industry.

NCTO ITC TPP Submission 2016 2-15

Comments (0) Testimony and Statements

Learn more

NCTO Statement on Release of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Text

Today’s release of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) text allows NCTO to begin an exhaustive review of the details of the agreement. NCTO will immediately initiate a thorough analysis of the text to determine its impact on our members, the U.S. textile industry as a whole, and our Western Hemisphere trading partners. Continue Reading

Comments (0) Testimony and Statements

Learn more

Statement on the Passing of Congressman Howard Coble

NCTO is saddened to learn of former Congressman Howard Coble’s passing. Congressman Coble was a steadfast textile leader in Congress who dedicated his life to fighting for the real people and real jobs that the U.S. textile industry provided. He co-sponsored every bill, fought for every issue, and signed every letter that the U.S. Continue Reading

Comments (0) Testimony and Statements

Learn more

NCTO APPLAUDS SENATE PASSAGE OF TRADE PROMOTION AUTHORITY

For Immediate Release
June 25, 2015

The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) applauds Senate passage of legislation to renew Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). TPA establishes congressional negotiating objectives and institutes parameters associated with the final congressional review of international trade agreements. Additionally, TPA formalizes consultation mechanisms between Congress and the Executive Branch on trade agreements as they are being negotiated. Continue Reading

Comments (0) Recent News, Testimony and Statements

Learn more