WASHINGTON – Shawmut
Corporation hosted Deputy United States Trade Representative Sarah Bianchi today
at the company’s headquarters and state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in
West Bridgewater, Mass., as part of the ambassador’s inaugural visit to textile
manufacturing facilities in the New England area.
Ambassador Bianchi’s visit
comes at a pivotal time for the U.S. textile supply chain, which produced $64
billion in output in 2020 and employed nearly 530,000 workers. Shawmut Corporation
is part of the broader U.S. textile industry that has been at the forefront of
a domestic production chain that has collectively manufactured over one billion
personal protective equipment (PPE) items during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ambassador’s visit to Shawmut included a tour
of the company’s manufacturing facility and a roundtable discussion
highlighting the critical need for policies supporting a domestic supply chain
and the innovative nature of the modern textile industry and its important contribution
to the U.S. economy. Shawmut, a fourth-generation, family-run global advanced
materials and textile manufacturer, is a global leader in automotive textile
composites, innovative technical fabrics and custom laminating services,
employing more than 700 employees worldwide with 10 global manufacturing plants
and seven commercial offices. The company has also contributed greatly to U.S.
PPE efforts, investing $20 million in a new state-of-the-art facility, which
can produce up to 180 million NIOSH-approved N95 respirators and other PPE annually
and created hundreds of new local jobs.
“We are honored to have hosted Ambassador Bianchi
at our West Bridgewater facility on her first domestic industry trade visit,”
said Shawmut CEO James Wyner. “The opportunity to discuss with the USTR office
the impact of our nation’s global trade policies on the valuable and passionate
work our U.S. manufacturing teams provide to their local communities, U.S.-based
trade partners and the nation is critical to supporting a robust U.S. supply
chain. We are thankful for Ambassador Bianchi’s commitment to understanding the
challenges we face on a global scale by her visit and dialogue here today.”
Ambassador Bianchi said, “Today’s tour of Shawmut’s
manufacturing facilities and the roundtable discussion with textile industry
executives was an invaluable opportunity for me to see innovative U.S. textile
manufacturing first-hand, to learn more about the challenges that U.S. textile
manufacturing faces, and to explore ways in which the Administration and
industry can cooperate to support a worker-centric trade policy.”
During the visit, U.S.
textile executives spanning the fiber, yarn, fabric, and finished product textile
and apparel industries participated in a roundtable with the ambassador at
which they discussed the innovative achievements and competitiveness of the
domestic industry and outlined priority issues in Washington, such as the
importance of Buy American and Berry Amendment government procurement policies,
maintaining strong rules of origins in free trade agreements and the need to address
larger systemic trade issues with China.
National Council of
Textile Organizations (NCTO) President and CEO Kim Glas said, “We deeply
appreciate Ambassador Bianchi’s inaugural visit to New England to meet with
U.S. textile executives and engage in substantive discussions centered around
policy opportunities that help bolster U.S. manufacturing and the challenges
confronting our industry. The U.S. textile industry is an extremely diverse,
technically advanced and highly innovative industry that provides much-needed
jobs in rural areas across the country. Sound trade policies and enforcement
are essential to this manufacturing sector and its workforce.”
Glas continued: “We
are grateful to Ambassador Bianchi and the entire U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR)
office, led by Ambassador Katherine Tai, for reaffirming its support
of CAFTA-DR rules and acknowledging the importance of the co-production chain
with our Western Hemisphere trade partners. We look forward to working closely
with Ambassador Bianchi and the USTR office to advance policies that bolster
domestic production by expanding buy American policies and providing incentives
for onshoring and nearshoring production, while addressing illegal trade
practices that undermine our industry’s competitiveness head on.”
Corporation is a fourth-generation, family-run,
global company with locations in North America, Europe, and Asia. Shawmut uses
materials innovation to improve people’s lives, employing expertise in fabric
formation, coating and laminating to deliver high performance materials and
components to the global Automotive, Health & Safety, Military &
Protective, and Custom Laminating Solutions markets, and is the largest
independent laminator in the U.S. for technical fabrics. Shawmut Corporation is
based in West Bridgewater, Mass., and can be found online on LinkedIn, Facebook and, Instagram. To learn more,
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.