U.S. Textile Industry Calls for China 301 Tariffs on Textile & Apparel End Products

WASHINGTON, DC – National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President & CEO Auggie Tantillo testified as a witness at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) public hearing on proposed China 301 tariffs in Washington, DC on May 17.

“The U.S. textile industry strongly supports the Trump administration’s Section 301 case to sanction China’s rampant intellectual property rights (IPR) theft,” said NCTO President & CEO Auggie Tantillo.

“The U.S. textile industry urges the Trump administration to include textile and apparel end products in any Section 301 retaliatory tariff action against China,” Tantillo added as he noted that China’s predatory, illegal trade actions, including IPR theft, have contributed to the loss of millions of U.S. manufacturing jobs, including hundreds of thousands in textiles.

“China’s domination of global textile markets has clearly been aided by its rampant theft of U.S. textile intellectual property.  From the violation of patents on high performance fibers, yarns and fabrics to the infringement of copyrighted designs on textile home furnishings, China has gained pricing advantages through blatantly illegal activities.  Putting 301 tariffs on Chinese textile and apparel exports would send a long overdue signal that these predatory actions will no longer be tolerated,” Tantillo finished.

In addition to Tantillo’s hearing testimony (see below), NCTO and the U.S. Industrial Fabrics Institute (USIFI) and Narrow Fabrics Institute (NFI) submitted a joint 24-page statement for the record as part of USTR’s public comment process on the China 301 tariff issue that closed on May 11.

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

  • U.S. employment in the textile supply chain was 550,500 in 2017.
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $77.9 billion in 2017.
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $28.6 billion in 2017.
  • Capital expenditures for textile and apparel production totaled $2.4 billion in 2016, the last year for which data is available.

 

Witness Statement

Auggie Tantillo, President & CEO, National Council of Textile Organizations

USTR China 301 Intellectual Property Rights Hearing

May 17, 2018

 

My name is Auggie Tantillo, and I am the President & CEO of the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO).  I am grateful for this opportunity to testify today.

NCTO represents the full spectrum of the U.S. textile sector, from fiber through finished sewn products, and we strongly support the President’s initiation of a Section 301 case to address China’s persistent and severely damaging intellectual property (IP) theft.  With that said, the U.S. textile industry is deeply disappointed that the retaliation list does not contain a single textile or apparel product.

This is a glaring omission because China has used a system of predatory trade practices, including brazen theft of U.S. textile materials, technology, and innovation, to dominate global markets.  Today, China holds nearly 40 percent of the world’s total trade in this sector.  Since 1997, China’s textile and apparel exports to the United States have increased by a stunning 1,400 percent, helping to fuel the more than $44 billion U.S. trade deficit with China in our sector last year.

Intellectual property rights (IPR) theft has helped enable China’s global ascendancy in the textile sector, and U.S. textile and apparel manufacturers have been acutely victimized by China’s intellectual property violations.  Department of Homeland Security (DHS) data substantiates this point, demonstrating:

  • In FY 2016 and 2017, wearing apparel and accessories accounted for the single largest segment of DHS IPR seizures, at 20% and 15% respectively.
  • The total value of wearing apparel and accessories seizures was nearly $200 million over the past two fiscal years.

The U.S. textile industry is vulnerable to IPR theft as the global leader in research and development and leading innovator of next generation fibers, yarns, and fabrics with cutting-edge characteristics and end-uses.  Further, proprietary technologies in the textile sector are difficult to develop but often relatively easy to copy and/or reverse engineer.  The following are some specific examples of China’s abuses in this area:

High Performance Textiles are products with extraordinary performance capabilities, such as textiles with high elasticity, extreme wear and abrasion resistance, and enhanced breathability and moisture-wicking capabilities.

A U.S. manufacturer and holder of various patents on fabrics of a highly complex construction has seen its products continually attacked by China.  The performance capabilities of these patented fabrics are so sophisticated that they are used in the U.S. military’s Generation III Extended Cold Weather Clothing System.

One patent covers a composite fabric that is designed to rapidly remove moisture from the skin. This product has an outer layer fabric made of highly absorbent materials, and a second, inner layer fabric formed with both vertical and horizontal channels, constructed from yarns with a plurality of fibers.  The two fabrics are knitted concurrently so that the layers are separate yet integrated one with the other.

Despite being solely responsible for these inventions and holding the patents for these products, the U.S. manufacturer finds itself competing against its own fabrics in activewear markets at home and abroad.  The company has identified garments imported by numerous major U.S. brands that violate their patents.  In each of these instances, the infringing fabric was made in China.

Home Furnishings are the textile products we use daily in our homes such as carpets, towels, comforters, drapery, and upholstered furniture.

U.S. home textile companies report that it is normally less than six months between the display of a new design and facing competition from copies of that proprietary textile design by Chinese manufacturers.  When these companies have successfully adjudicated copyright infringement cases in China, penalty judgements are routinely well below the actual level of damages sustained.  The ability to enforce rulings and collect penalties is frustratingly slow and, in some cases, nonexistent as guilty parties often reorganize as new companies to avoid the legal repercussions.

New Materials is one of the ten R&D priority technology domains designated in the Made in China 2025 national plan, under which textiles is listed as an “advanced basic material.”

Advanced textile materials are a strong growth area in terms of domestic investment, output, and employment.  Innovations in this field have allowed the introduction of textile products in diverse markets such as medical, telecommunications, aerospace, construction, and environmental remediation.

A U.S. company produces an advanced textile structure for the telecommunications sector that they manufacture in China for sale in Asian markets.  While the product required significant effort to develop and optimize, it is relatively simple to manufacture.  The U.S. company obtained numerous patents including invention patents and utility models in China.  Nonetheless, several Chinese companies knocked off this product in multiple provinces.

The company successfully sued their competitors for patent infringement and have defended attempts to have their primary patents invalidated.  Again, damage awards were low and collection was difficult.  At least one Chinese company simply opened another infringing company after the first was enjoined.

Consumer Impact Analysis

Beyond the question of IPR, another key metric in the construction of the retaliation list was a ranking of products “according to the likely impact on U.S. consumers.”  We do not believe that textile and apparel products should be disqualified based on consumer concerns.

Their inclusion would only impair U.S. consumers if there were no viable alternatives for the same goods.  In the U.S. market, textile and apparel products are globally and abundantly sourced.  The U.S. Department of Commerce lists 98 different countries in their monthly textile and apparel “Major Shippers” report.  Last year, the United States imported over $73 billion in textile and apparel goods from sources other than China.  Many of these imports were duty-free from our free trade agreement (FTA) partners.  Aside from China, sixteen different countries shipped at least $1 billion worth of textile and apparel products to the United States in 2017.

To argue that American consumers would be deprived of choice or forced to pay significantly more ignores today’s abundant and diverse textile and apparel global sourcing structure.

Further, it is a tactical mistake to exempt strategically important industries in China from the retaliation list.  The textile and apparel sector is a critical aspect of China’s national economy due to the extraordinary number of workers employed in it.  According to reports, the textile and apparel sector is the single largest provider of industrial employment in China, with approximately 24,000 enterprises, over 10 million direct jobs, and millions of additional jobs in support industries.

To resolve China’s rampant IPR abuses, any retaliation list will need to include pillar sectors of their economy.  Threatening China’s illegal stranglehold on hundreds of billions of dollars of exports in the textile sector will create legitimate concerns as to China’s ability to maintain their astonishing employment levels in this sector.

Textile Machinery

Additionally, we oppose inclusion of textile machinery on the retaliation list as virtually no textile machinery is manufactured in the United States.  China’s explosive growth in the U.S. textile and apparel market also devastated the U.S. textile machinery industry, leaving domestic textile companies almost totally dependent on imports to equip their factories.  The failure to remove textile machinery from the list will result in:

  • Increased production costs for U.S. textile manufacturers, exacerbating the already significant and often illegally-attained price advantages that China holds;
  • Jobs losses in the U.S. textile production chain and supplier industries; and
  • Increased prices for U.S. exports of textile goods to our Western Hemisphere apparel partners.

Conclusion & Recommendation

In summary, the U.S. textile industry strongly recommends that the Trump administration add to the retaliation list:

  • Finished apparel items that track closely with product being sourced from U.S. FTA partners;
  • Textile-based home furnishings; and
  • Advanced textiles, defined as textile inputs or finished products designed to meet rigorous safety and/or unique high-performance criteria.

We also recommend that all textile machinery items be removed from the retaliation list.

Adopting these recommendations would provide a modest level of relief to an industry severely undermined by China’s persistent theft of our intellectual property.  On the other hand, failure to include textile and apparel products would condone China’s illegal activity in this strategically important sector.

# # #

DOWNLOAD RELEASE

CONTACT:  Lloyd Wood
(202) 822-8028

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

Learn more

NCTO Public Comments on Proposed China 301 Action

WASHINGTON, DC — On May 11, the National Council of Textile Organizations and the U.S. Industrial Fabrics Institute and Narrow Fabrics Institute jointly filed a 24-page public comment with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative regarding Docket DOC 2018-0005, Proposed Determination of Action Pursuant to Section 301: China’s Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation.

Comments (0) Testimony and Statements

Learn more

2018 State of the U.S. Textile Industry Address

WASHINGTON, DC – Outgoing 2017-18 National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) Chairman William V. “Bill” McCrary Jr. delivered the trade association’s 2018 State of the U.S. Textile Industry overview at NCTO’s 15th Annual Meeting on March 22 at the Capital Hilton in Washington, DC.

Mr. McCrary’s speech outlined (1) U.S. textile supply chain economic, employment and trade data, (2) the 2018 policy priorities of domestic textile manufacturers, and (3) other NCTO activities.

The text of his remarks as prepared for delivery are included in this press statement along with hyperlinks to an economic data infographic and a graphic illustrating the U.S. textile industry’s trading relationship with Mexico.

Mr. McCrary is Chairman and CEO of William Barnet & Son LLC, a synthetic fiber/yarn/polymer firm headquartered in Spartanburg, South Carolina with plants and/or offices in the Americas, Europe, and Asia.

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

  • U.S. employment in the textile supply chain was 550,500 in 2017.
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $77.9 billion in 2017.
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $28.6 billion in 2017.
  • Capital expenditures for textile and apparel production totaled $2.4 billion in 2016, the last year for which data is available.

 

[the text of McCrary’s remarks as prepared for delivery begins below]

It has been an amazing year for the U.S. textile industry and the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO).  President Trump’s pro-manufacturing agenda is forcing Washington to do what NCTO has long sought – rethink policies on trade, taxation, regulatory reform and a host of other issues.

Let there be no doubt.  The time for change is now and NCTO is committed to working with the Trump administration to achieve the best policy outcomes on these and other issues.   But before laying out NCTO’s policy agenda, I want to recap how the industry fared in 2017.

THE NUMBERS                                                                                                                                                     

Thanks to its productivity, flexibility and innovation, the U.S. textile industry has cemented its position in the global market.

In 2017, the value of U.S. man-made fiber and filament, textile, and apparel shipments totaled an estimated $77.9 billion, this is an uptick from the $74.4 billion in output in 2016 and an increase of 16 percent since 2009.[1]

The breakdown of 2017 shipments by industry sector is:[2]

  • $31.5 billion for yarns and fabrics
  • $26.6 billion for home furnishings, carpet & other non-apparel sewn products
  • $12.5 billion for apparel
  • An estimated $7.3 billion for man-made fibers

Capital expenditures also are healthy.  Investment in fiber, yarn, fabric, and other non-apparel textile product manufacturing has more than doubled from $960 million in 2009 to $2.1 billion in 2016.[3]

Our sector’s supply chain employs 550,500 workers.[4]  The 2017 figures include:

  • 112,300 jobs in yarns and fabrics
  • 114,700 jobs in home furnishings, carpet, and other non-apparel sewn products
  • 119,300 jobs in apparel manufacturing
  • 25,100 jobs in man-made fibers
  • 126,600 jobs in cotton farming and related industry
  • 52,500 jobs in wool growing and related industry

As we examine these numbers, it is important to note that the heavy job losses incurred because of massive import surges in the 1995-2008 timeframe, virtually have stopped.[5]  Today, like most other U.S. manufacturing sectors, fluctuations in employment figures are generally due to normal business cycles, new investment, or productivity increases.

U.S. exports of fiber, yarns, fabrics, made-ups, and apparel were $28.6 billion in 2017. [6]  This is nearly a nine percent increase in export performance over 2016. Shipments to NAFTA and CAFTA-DR countries accounted for 54 percent of all U.S. textile supply chain exports.

The breakdown of exports by sector is as follows:

  • $5.9 billion – cotton and wool
  • $4.4 billion – yarns
  • $8.9 billion – fabrics
  • $3.7 billion – home furnishings, carpet & other non-apparel sewn products
  • $5.7 billion – apparel

The United States is especially well-positioned globally in fiber, yarn, fabric, and non-apparel sewn products markets; it was the world’s 4th largest individual country exporter of those products in 2016.[7]

The most important U.S. export markets by region are:[8]

  • $11.85 billion – NAFTA
  • $3.4 billion – CAFTA-DR
  • $8.7 billion – Asia
  • $2.8 billion – Europe
  • $2.0 billion – Rest of World

Focusing solely on America’s $13 billion in man-made fiber, yarn and fabric exports, the countries buying the most product are:[9]

  • $4.4 billion – Mexico
  • $1.7 billion – Canada
  • $1.3 billion – Honduras
  • $987 million – China
  • $473 million – Dominican Republic

The numbers show the fundamentals for the U.S. textile industry are sound.  This is true even though some markets for U.S. textiles and apparel were soft last year.  For the most part, any sluggishness was due to factors beyond control, such as disruption in the retail sector caused by the shifting of sales from brick and mortar outlets to the internet.  With that said, the U.S. textile industry’s commitment to capital re-investment and a continued emphasis on quality and innovation make it well-positioned to adapt to market changes and take advantage of opportunities as 2018 moves along.

POLICY ISSUES

For decades, U.S. policy systematically undervalued the importance of domestic manufacturing, and President Trump is right that this has hurt America.

As evidenced by the work done by NCTO’s government relations team, NCTO endorses President Trump’s macro policy objectives of reshoring industry, fighting for free, but fair trade, enforcing U.S. trade laws, making the U.S. tax code more competitive, buying American, cutting unnecessary regulation, revitalizing infrastructure, ensuring cheap energy, and fixing health care.

On trade, NCTO agrees with President Trump that U.S. trading relationships must be rooted in fairness and reciprocity to benefit a broad swath of American society.

America’s most important trading relationship is NAFTA, a pillar upon which the U.S.-Western Hemisphere textile supply chain is built.  At almost $12 billion combined, Mexico and Canada are the U.S. textile industry’s largest export markets.  Moreover, Mexico provides vital garment assembly capacity the United States lacks at this time.

Let me be clear.  NCTO strongly supports NAFTA.  That said, NCTO agrees with President Trump that NAFTA can and must be improved.

NAFTA’s yarn-forward rule of origin contains loopholes that benefit third-party countries, such as China.  Closing them would boost U.S. and NAFTA partner textile and apparel production and jobs.

NCTO’s NAFTA objectives include:

  • Eliminating tariff preference levels (TPLs) on apparel, non-apparel sewn products, fabrics & yarn
  • Require use of NAFTA-origin components beyond the “essential character” of the fabric – i.e. sewing thread, pocketing & narrow elastics
  • Strengthen buy American laws for Dept. of Homeland Security textiles & clothing by closing the Kissell Amendment loophole for Canada & Mexico
  • Strengthen customs enforcement

NCTO further agrees with President Trump that all U.S. free trade agreements should be periodically reviewed on a performance basis.

As for any new trade deals, NCTO supports President Trump’s preference for individual bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) over multilaterals.  Moreover, any new FTA targets should be limited to countries that trade in a fair, reciprocal manner.  NCTO would oppose any FTAs with non-market economy countries like China and Vietnam because of their demonstrated ability to disrupt the U.S. textile market.

NCTO welcomes President Trump’s view that U.S. has made a mistake by not prioritizing trade enforcement in recent years.  NCTO intends to make this issue a point of emphasis in the coming months because curtailing customs fraud and enforcing trade laws incentivizes reshoring. Moreover, due to the extremely high volume of trade in our sector, the textile industry is especially susceptible to customs fraud.

For FY 2017, the U.S. International Trade Commission reports calculated duties for all imports for domestic consumption was $34.8 billion, including $13.5 billion in textile and apparel-related goods.  With billions at stake, lax U.S. customs enforcement entices unscrupulous importers to avoid duty payments.

To reduce customs fraud, the United States must put a higher priority on enforcement.  This means devoting more resources to investigate those who are avoiding duties by purposely undervaluing U.S. imports, illegally circumventing U.S. free trade agreement rules of origin via third-country transshipment, or other fraudulent means.  In addition, penalties for customs fraud must be certain, swift, and sufficient to deter this harmful, illegal activity.

Stopping customs fraud has the added benefit of more than paying for itself.  The U.S. Treasury will collect more duty revenue and more textile supply chain production and jobs will shift to the United States and the broader NAFTA and DR-CAFTA regions.

NCTO also supports tough U.S. action against countries that engage in predatory trade practices.  Noting that this problem is pervasive among non-market economies, NCTO welcomes the Trump administration’s rejection of China’s demand to be recognized as a market economy under the World Trade Organization.  This decision prevents China from arguing that their manufacturing cost structures are fair and transparent with respect to trade enforcement actions.

One final trade priority is the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill, a pro-jobs measure vital to U.S. competitiveness.  NCTO urges swift enactment of the Miscellaneous Tariff Act, legislation providing duty relief on manufacturing inputs that are unavailable domestically and do not compete with other U.S.-made products.

Moving on to tax policy, NCTO welcomes the tax reforms enacted by President Trump and Congress.  Lowering the corporate rate and providing for more favorable capital expensing will encourage more manufacturing investment in the United States.

President Trump’s initiatives to cut unnecessary regulation are pro-jobs too.

With respect to government procurement policy, NCTO steadfastly supports the Berry Amendment.  This “buy American” provision for the military is an example of how the government and private sector can work together for mutual benefit.  The U.S. military gets a secure U.S. supply line for thousands of superior, highly-advanced products.  In return, the domestic textile sector receives $1.5 to $2 billion in annual Defense Department sales that boost U.S. investment and employment.

NCTO is deeply concerned by congressional attacks on the Berry Amendment in recent annual defense bills, including the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act.  NCTO urges Congress to reject any proposals to weaken the Berry Amendment, and instead work to strengthen the law.

NCTO also encourages Congress to include textiles in any efforts to enact commonsense laws or regulations that would strengthen “buy American” requirements applying to infrastructure or other federal spending.  As demonstrated by Berry, when the federal government buys “American,” it is good for the U.S. textile industry and even better for America.

NCTO urges Congress to follow President Trump’s lead by drafting and passing a comprehensive plan to rebuild America’s infrastructure.  Besides boosting U.S. productivity and facilitating commerce, infrastructure is a key market for textile products such as workwear, geosynthetics, and filtration systems.  Infrastructure is a growing market for textile composites too.

Fostering a national culture of innovation is also important.  NCTO urges continued support for the Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA). This Defense Department-funded program is matched three to one with private dollars and tasked with making it easier to develop and commercialize the next generation of high-performance textiles.

NCTO also calls for the U.S. government to invest in improving automation for garment assembly because this technology shows promising potential to reshore U.S. textile and apparel production and jobs.

Another NCTO priority is ensuring that the U.S. textile industry has uninterrupted access to reasonably priced energy.  Most man-made fibers are derivatives of petroleum products and many textile producers are reliant on natural gas to power manufacturing operations.  Noting this, NCTO supports construction of expanded oil and gas pipeline capacity to keep energy prices low.

Finally, the U.S. textile industry must acknowledge its workforce is aging, making the recruitment of new talent a priority.  U.S. companies must continue to forge links with local and state leaders, and educators to make sure government policy nurtures a labor pool both adequate in size and well prepared to succeed in a competitive global economy.

OTHER NCTO ACTIVITIES

On March 8, NCTO announced a merger, effective April 1, with the American Fiber Manufacturers Association (AFMA), a fellow trade group representing domestic manufacturers of man-made fiber.

From NCTO’s perspective, the merger with AFMA adds new members, financial resources and extends NCTO’s political reach.  It also enhances NCTO’s status as the voice of every facet of the U.S. textile production chain, a fact that will help NCTO more effectively influence policies being made in Washington that impact U.S. textile investment, production and workers.

From AFMA’s perspective, as a multi-billion industry, it is critical that the U.S. man-made fiber sector remain engaged in Washington.  Merging with NCTO allows U.S. fiber producers to keep its seat at the federal policy table.

As I have just outlined, NCTO is involved in the policymaking process on all major matters affecting the textile production chain.  This includes key international trade negotiations, congressional initiatives, federal procurement, and regulatory activity.  This merger, will allow the domestic fiber sector to be fully aware of what is transpiring in these areas and to have an effective voice in influencing policy outcomes.

In other activities, NCTO’s American Textiles: We Make Amazing campaign is helping to rebrand the U.S. textile sector’s image because its manufacturers have a great story to tell.  America’s textile industry is world class thanks to leveraging the most cutting-edge production processes, investing in the best machinery, and leading in sustainability and innovation.

Campaign highlights include:

  • Launching a new website to promote the U.S. textile industry
    • Textiles in the News (TIN), textilesinthenews.org, debuted March 15
    • TIN is a sister website to NCTO’s trade association website, ncto.org,
    • Platform to drive policymakers and opinion leaders to content that rebrands the U.S. textile industry along the American Textiles: We Make Amazing™ message
    • Includes newsfeed updated every business day, regularly posted NCTO-produced original content & a link to NCTO’s Twitter feed
  • Publishing a third edition of Textures, NCTO’s member magazine
  • Emailing a weekly news blog, also called Textiles in the News
  • Publishing the quarterly NCTO Newsletter
  • Posting planned social media on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn
  • Regular public relations outreach to selected media
  • Generating more than $3 million in earned media coverage

Judging by the engagement generated by American Textiles: We Make Amazing™ marketing efforts, more and more people are getting an accurate, positive description of our sector, and as a result, are viewing the U.S. textile industry in a new light.

CONCLUSION

Although the U.S. textile industry is world-class, it cannot afford to rest on its laurels. There will always be intense and sometimes unfair competition from abroad, changing consumer demands and inevitable economic downturns.

Fortunately, the Trump administration wants to spur manufacturing output and jobs, and it is incumbent upon the U.S. textile industry to seize this generational opportunity to usher in a new era of growth.  With so much at stake, I implore all members of NCTO to stay active in this indispensable association that is fighting to promote the interest of our industry here in Washington.

I also invite domestic textile manufacturers who have not been active in Washington but want to change textile policy for the better, to join NCTO.  Good policy does not materialize from thin air, and NCTO must have the financial and political resources necessary to help build a stable and prosperous future for U.S. textile companies.  In short, our workers and their families and communities are depending on your involvement and leadership.

Thank you for the opportunity to be Chairman of NCTO for this past year.  It has been a privilege to serve this great industry.

 

[1] Source: U.S. Census Bureau Annual Survey of Manufactures (ASM).  Data covers NAICS categories 313 (Textile Mills), 314 (Textile Product Mills), 315 (Apparel), and 32522 (Artificial and Synthetic Fibers and Filaments).  2017 Data for NAICS 32522 is not yet available.  Our 2017 estimate for the value of shipments in that category is $7.3 billion.

[2] Source: U.S. Census Bureau Annual Survey of Manufactures (ASM).  Data covers NAICS categories 313 (Textile Mills), 314 (Textile Product Mills), 315 (Apparel), and 32522 (Artificial and Synthetic Fibers and Filaments).  2017 Data for NAICS 32522 is not yet available.  Our estimate for the value of shipments in that category is based on data from 2016.

[3] Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Annual Capital Expenses Survey (ACES).  Data covers NAICS categories 313 (Textile Mills), 314 (Textile Product Mills), and 315 (Apparel).

[4] Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Cotton Council, and the American Sheep Industry Association.

[5] Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

[6] Source: Data for textiles and apparel is from The Export Market Report produced by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA).  U.S. export data for cotton, wool, and fine animal hair is calculated from the U.S. International Trade Commission Interactive Tariff and Trade DataWeb using HTS Codes 5101, 5102, 5103 (wool), 5201, 5202, and 5203 (cotton).

[7] Source: U.N. COMTRADE Database, HTS Chapters 50-60

[8] Source: U.S. Commerce Department and U.S. International Trade Commission

[9] Id.

 

# # #

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 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