June 12, 2014



WASHINGTON, D.C. — On June 10, U.S. textile manufacturers joined with their counterparts throughout the Western Hemisphere to communicate to congressional leaders the importance of adopting fair and reasonable textile rules in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).  The event brought together the trade associations for U.S., Mexican, and Central American textile and apparel producers, CEOs of regional manufacturers, and trade representatives of CAFTA-DR governments. Meetings highlighted the strong growth in trade and investment in textile manufacturing as a result of the NAFTA and CAFTA-DR trade agreements.

The group met with House and Senate leadership offices, including aides to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Speaker John Boehner, and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and staff for the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees, and leaders of the House Textile Caucus. Discussions focused on the need for a strong “yarn forward” rule of origin, robust customs enforcement, and reasonable tariff phase outs for sensitive products in TPP.

“Mexico is a key textile and apparel producer in the Western Hemisphere and is a critical part of the supply chain for many American textile and apparel companies,” said Nora Ambriz, Executive Director of CANAINTEX. “Ninety-six percent of Mexican apparel exports are shipped to the United States each year and Mexico is the leading export destination for U.S. textiles and apparel. NAFTA has created this dynamic and integral relationship between the U.S. and Mexico’s textile and apparel sectors and it is critically important that TPP does not damage the Western Hemisphere supply chain in this sector.”

“A final TPP must contain provisions that have been the foundation of U.S. trade agreements over the past 25 years: fair rules of origin, common sense market access rules, and strong customs enforcement provisions,” said Jay Self, Chairman of NCTO and President and CEO of Greenwood Mills. “The NAFTA and CAFTA-DR free trade agreements have created a sustainable and competitive manufacturing platform for U.S. textile and apparel companies which allows us to compete in the global market. It is imperative that U.S. trade policy continues to foster the economic growth seen under these agreements by building on the successful rules they contain.”

“The U.S. and the CAFTA-DR region, including the Dominican Republic, have created a prosperous and sustainable integrated manufacturing platform,” said Karin de Leon, Executive Director of CECATEC-RD. “This partnership provides hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs throughout the CAFTA-DR region, and is responsible for billions in two-way trade with the United States.”

About the organizations:

CANAINTEX is the leading organization representing the textile value chain in México.

CECATEC-RD  is a nonprofit and regional organization which integrates the associations and chambers of the apparel and textile sector in Central America and Dominican Republic, representing and developing strategies for promotion, development and protection of the industry in the region.

National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), headquartered in Washington, DC, with an office in Gastonia, NC, is the national trade association representing the entire spectrum of the textile sector. For more information about the U.S. textile industry, view NCTO’s website at



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NCTO Statement on Formaldehyde for The Dr.OZ Show

Why Formaldehyde is used:

Formaldehyde is a chemical used in manufacturing products by many industries including textiles.  It is ubiquitous in nature and has been known for a long time to be a sensitizer.  In the textile industry, formaldehyde is used in very small quantities used in wet processing to create durable press (DP) properties in textile fabrics.   

Health Concerns:

The use of formaldehyde in textiles and apparel has been a growing concern of American consumers as the chemical is classified as a possible carcinogen. One study found that when mice were exposed to high levels of formaldehyde, over long periods of time, the mice did develop tumors (this study was conducted in the 1980’s).

U.S. Textile Industry Response to Public Concern:

In response to public concern, the U.S. textile industry invited the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to join in a research project to determine if formaldehyde as used by the domestic textile industry could pose a health risk for consumers. The joint study was conducted by an independent research laboratory using durable press treated fabric processed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s textile laboratory in a way typical of commercial production.

Results of the research were evaluated and it was the consensus of all participants that formaldehyde used by the U.S. Textile Industry in very small quantities is metabolized in the skin and none was found at other sites.  It was concluded by all research participants that formaldehyde, in very small amounts, used by the U.S. Textile industry does not pose a significant health risk for consumers.

Imported Products:

It is important to note that this study addressed U.S-produced fabric only and cannot be considered indicative of formaldehyde levels on foreign finished fabrics. Unfortunately, many countries manufacture textiles and apparel with much higher levels of Formaldehyde. There is also close to zero testing of this chemical when the product enters the U.S. market. This equates to the average consumers clothing potentially having much higher levels of the chemical then what the U.S. CPSC has determined as safe for the human body.


Since the concern of formaldehyde has been raised and continues to worry consumers, the U.S. textile industry has continued to find ways to reduce the levels of formaldehyde textiles. While U.S. textiles and apparel contain safe levels of formaldehyde, imported items, particularly items for babies and small children, may contain unsafe levels of this chemical due to lack of adequate testing for imported products.   

Formaldehyde is not government regulated in the U.S. and thus consumers must be, and have been the driving force in the elimination of the chemical in textiles and apparel. While the U.S. industry has listened to the American consumer, many countries continue to manufacture with unsafe levels of the chemical.

It is important for consumers to be mindful of where clothes are produced, how they are made, and what medical science and the U.S. government has determined is safe when making purchases which utilize chemicals in the manufacturing process. 

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Yarn-Forward Rule Spurs Investment in U.S. Textile Industry

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. textile industry has seen a surge in foreign direct investment over the past 8 months. No less than 8 foreign companies have made public announcements over that period to invest more than $700 million in new U.S. textile facilities and equipment. These investments are projected to provide approximately 1,900 new jobs in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Louisiana.

Read More:–Yarn-ForwardRuleSpursInvestmentinUSTextileIndustry.pdf

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