U.S. Textile and Nonwoven Associations Urge Government to Deem Manufacturing Facilities “Essential”

WASHINGTON DC—U.S. textile and nonwoven associations issued a joint statement today urging federal, state and local governments to deem textile and nonwoven manufacturing facilities as “essential” when drafting “Shelter in Place” orders in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Our associations recognize the serious challenges our elected officials, health administrators and others are facing when issuing orders to protect communities across the country and we understand the necessity for leaders to enforce a ‘Shelter in Place” order or quarantine orders.

Our members make a broad range of inputs and finished products used in an array of personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical nonwoven/textile supplies, including surgical gowns, face masks, antibacterial wipes, lab coats, blood pressure cuffs, cotton swabs and hazmat suits. These items are vital to the government’s effort to ramp up emergency production of these critical supplies.

If workers who produce these goods are not granted an “essential” exemption from “Shelter in Place” and other quarantine orders to go to their manufacturing and distribution facilities, it will cause major disruptions in the availability of these goods. This will create significant hardship to healthcare providers and consumers across the country who depend on steady and stable supplies of these critical items.

We are asking the administration and state and local authorities to provide greater certainty and clarity for our companies and employees and ask for a clear exclusion of our manufacturing operations from “Shelter in Place” orders as the textile and nonwoven products that we make in the U.S. play an essential role in mitigating the shortages of critical supplies. Such a designation will help us avoid disruptions of vital goods and services during this challenging time.

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About NCTO

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 594,147 in 2018. 
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $76.8 billion in 2018. 
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $30.1 billion in 2018. 
  • Capital expenditures for textile and apparel production
  • totaled $2.0 billion in 2017, the last year for which data is available.

About INDA

INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, serves hundreds of member companies in the nonwovens/engineered fabrics industry in global commerce. Since 1968, INDA events have helped members connect, learn, innovate, and develop their businesses. INDA educational courses, market data, test methods, consultancy, and issue advocacy help members succeed by providing them the information they need to better plan and execute their business strategies. For more information, visit inda.org, or download the INDA mobile app for immediate updates.

About IFAI

The Industrial Fabrics Association International is a member-owned, member-driven trade association representing the global industrial fabrics industry since 1912. IFAI invests more than $8 million each year to advance the industry and support member companies. IFAI provides members with relevant information, sourcing solutions and networking opportunities to sustain and grow their businesses. www.ifai.com

CONTACTS:

NCTO

Kristi Ellis

(202) 684-3091

www.ncto.org

INDA

Dave Rousse

(919) 459-3730

www.inda.org

IFAI

Janelle Buerkley

651.225.6948

www.ifai.com

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NCTO Supports Administration’s Proposals on Economic Stimulus in Coronavirus Response; Rejects Importer Attempts to Remove China 301 Tariffs on...

The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), representing the full spectrum U.S. textiles from fiber through finished sewn products, issued a statement today welcoming the Trump administration’s proposals on an economic stimulus package to gird the economy against the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, but the organization urged officials to reject any attempts by importers to remove China 301 tariffs on finished products as part of any relief package.

“The president has outlined the need for a broad economic stimulus package that would include various tax incentives to help impacted industries and workers. We support the administration’s efforts to bolster the economy as a response to the coronavirus outbreak, while opposing add-ons to any stimulus package designed to exploit the crisis,” said NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas.

“Any push by importers and retailers to take advantage of the situation and press for removing China 301 tariffs on finished consumer goods—a penalty imposed by the administration in a separate investigation of China’s illegal intellectual property (IP) abuses—should be rejected immediately,” she said. “Tariff breaks on finished products will only pad the pockets of retailers that have long benefitted from China’s trade abuses, and ultimately will not be passed on to the consumer,” Glas said.

“Granting importers a tariff break would essentially let China off the hook for systemic IP violations that have displaced U.S. workers and undermined U.S. leverage in negotiating a phase two agreement,” Glas continued.

As part of a Phase One deal with China, the administration reduced duties on finished apparel and textile products implemented on Sept.1 from 15 percent to 7.5 percent.

“NCTO has strongly supported applying tariffs on finished products as a key negotiating leverage but opposes keeping tariffs in place on certain inputs that are not made in the U.S. such as select dyes, chemicals and textile machinery. NCTO has long-argued tariffs on these inputs hurt domestic competitiveness for U.S. textile manufacturers,” Glas said.

Finished apparel, home furnishings and other made-up textile goods equate to 93.5 percent of U.S. imports from China in the sector; while fiber, yarn, and fabric imports from China only represent 6.5 percent, according to government data.

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 594,147 in 2018. 
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $76.8 billion in 2018. 
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $30.1 billion in 2018. 
  • Capital expenditures for textile and apparel production totaled $2.0 billion in 2017, the last year for which data is available.

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NCTO Responds to China Commission’s Report on Forced Labor in China to Produce Global Products

National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President and CEO Kim Glas issued the following statement today in response to the Congressional-Executive Commission on China’s staff report on the forced labor of Uyghurs and other minorities in China to produce consumer products for global companies.

We share the concerns of the bipartisan China commission regarding forced labor in China that is used to produce goods for global companies. We agree with the findings and the commission’s recommendations to the administration and Congress to take action against the systemic abuse of forced labor.

The plight of the Uyghurs and minority groups in China deserves greater attention. It is another example of how the Chinese have utilized illegal and oftentimes abhorrent practices to gain an advantage in the marketplace.

As the commission’s report details, Chinese apparel exporters have clearly profited from the virtual enslavement of this minority population, and we call for continued scrutiny and the end to this exploitation of a repressed people. The commission has served a fair warning to U.S. businesses and consumers to not be complicit in these forced labor practices.

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 594,147 in 2018. 
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $76.8 billion in 2018. 
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $30.1 billion in 2018. 
  • Capital expenditures for textile and apparel production totaled $2.0 billion in 2017, the last year for which data is available.

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(202) 684-3091

www.ncto.org

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NCTO Releases Statement on Coronavirus

WASHINGTON DC—National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President and CEO Kim Glas issued the following statement today on the industry’s response to the coronavirus crisis.

The coronavirus has impacted Asian textile and apparel manufacturing productivity and output, and our concerns lie with the affected companies and workers during this terrible crisis.

The U.S. textile industry continues to be ready, able, and willing to help in any way possible. Our industries have been in touch with U.S. government officials to help identify key U.S. textile suppliers to provide surgical masks and other items to help contain the spread of the coronavirus. In addition, several companies have donated much-needed medical textile supplies and other sanitary items to help address this outbreak.

Given the uncertainty in the market as a result of the coronavirus, many textile and apparel sourcing executives are seeking alternatives outside of Asia. We stand ready to assist brands and retailers looking to shift sourcing during this uncertain time. The Western Hemisphere production platform established under our free trade agreements and trade preference programs provides a sound alternative as companies look to diversify their sourcing. The region has immediate capacity to meet worldwide demands with duty-free access through well-established supply chains.

Whether this terrible crisis lasts days, months, or longer – our member companies are ready and willing to help.

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 594,147 in 2018. 
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $76.8 billion in 2018. 
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $30.1 billion in 2018. 
  • Capital expenditures for textile and apparel production totaled $2.0 billion in 2017, 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 Applauds Trump Administration’s Move to Crack down on Imported Counterfeits Sold Online

WASHINGTON DC—The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), representing the full spectrum of U.S. textiles from fiber through finished sewn products, issued a statement today on the Trump administration’s announced action plan to increase enforcement and penalties against counterfeit goods sold online and imported to the U.S.

“This is a very important and long overdue move on the part of the administration to increase enforcement activity and penalties against counterfeit goods sold online and imported into the United States,” said NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas. “We commend the administration for making a commitment to bolster efforts to crackdown on counterfeits, particularly in the textile and apparel sector, which has been hit hard by fake imported products for decades.”

Nearly two million shipments of goods are exported to the United States duty free each day– often from countries with poor labor, human rights and environmental track records—under a provision known as Section 321 de minimis. This provision allows goods valued below an $800 threshold to enter the U.S. duty free when imported directly to an individual on a single day. 

“This massive increase in de minimis shipment trade poses significant security risks and threats to public health and safety, while incentivizing customs fraud and creating a loophole to our entire tariff structure,” Glas said. “Our concerns regarding the de minimis loophole are exacerbated by the belief that the domestic textile industry and other U.S. manufacturing interests are directly and negatively impacted, particularly since e-commerce sites like Amazon and others are using de minimis as a duty-free portal into the U.S. for products under $800.”

Furthermore, CBP’s own annual report on intellectual property seizures, including large volumes of counterfeits, revealed that U.S. authorities made seizures totaling $1.4 billion in fiscal 2018. Over 90 percent of all intellectual property (IPR) seizures occur in the international mail and express shipment environments, according to the report, which is a common method of shipping by e-commerce sites.

Chinese products accounted for 46% of all IPR seizures with a total Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) value of $761.1 million in FY 2018. Apparel and accessories were the top counterfeit products seized by U.S. authorities, accounting for 18% of all seizures in FY 2018 with an MRSP value of $115.2 million.

“We think this is an important step forward by the administration to deepen the analysis on de minimis products— that are often not thoroughly examined and undercut our domestic manufacturing industries,” Glas said. “We don’t know what the products are, where they are coming from, whether they meet U.S. safety requirements, who is making them or the country of origin. We believe it is long past time for the administration to address the issue of de minimis shipments and counterfeiting head on.”

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 594,147 in 2018. 
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $76.8 billion in 2018. 
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $30.1 billion in 2018. 
  • Capital expenditures for textile and apparel production totaled $2.0 billion in 2017, the last year for which data is available.

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CONTACT: Kristi Ellis

(202) 684-3091

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NCTO Welcomes Senate Passage of USMCA

WASHINGTON, DC—The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), representing the full spectrum of U.S. textiles from fiber through finished sewn products, lauded Senate passage today of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

“We are pleased the Senate voted swiftly to approve USMCA–a trade deal that we expect to significantly bolster textile exports to the Western Hemisphere, particularly to Mexico,” said NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas.

Mexico and Canada are the two largest export markets for the U.S. textile and apparel industry, totaling nearly $11.5 billion for the year ending Nov. 30, 2019, according to government data.

 “USMCA is a win for the textile industry,” Glas said. “The improvements it makes to NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement) will only serve to generate more business for domestic producers and create more jobs and investment in the U.S.”

NCTO worked with the administration during negotiations on USMCA and secured several provisions in the trade deal including stronger rules of origin for certain textile inputs and increased U.S. Customs enforcement.

U.S. textile executives are ramping up to take advantage of the modifications in USMCA and some plan to build new business or expand existing business in areas such as pocketing and sewing thread, “Our member companies, making some of the most advanced textiles in the world, have long supported USMCA and are eagerly awaiting implementation of the trade deal,” Glas added. “We urge quick implementation of USMCA and thank the administration and Congress for their hard work to get the deal across the finish line.”

The USMCA updates and modifies the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and makes significant improvements, including:

  • Creation of a separate chapter for textiles and apparel rules of origin with strong customs enforcement language.
  • Stronger rules of origin for sewing thread, pocketing, narrow elastics and certain coated fabrics.  Under the current NAFTA, these items can be sourced from outside the region – USMCA fixes this loophole and ensures these secondary components are originating to the region.
  • Fixes the Kissell Amendment Buy American loophole, ensuring that a significant amount the Department of Homeland Security spends annually on clothing and textiles for the Transportation Security Administration is spent on domestically produced products.

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 594,147 in 2018. 
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $76.8 billion in 2018. 
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $30.1 billion in 2018. 
  • Capital expenditures for textile and apparel production totaled $2.0 billion in 2017, the last year for which data is available.

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NCTO Statement on Signing of Phase One Deal on 301 Tariffs

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), representing the full spectrum of U.S. textiles from fiber though finished sewn products, released the following statement on the Phase One Deal on 301 tariffs signed today by the U.S. and China.

“While we are still studying the details of the deal signed today, we applaud the administration for finally pressing China for a more rational and equal trade relationship,” said NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas. “Our industry has been severely damaged by China’s predatory practices over the past 30 years and we are anxious to see a new era of sound trade principles and balanced trade.

At the same time, we question the last-in, first-out approach to the tariff reductions.  In our sector, this means that the penalty 301 tariffs on finished apparel and sewn products–the areas where tariffs have the most potential to effect reforms in China while bolstering the Western Hemisphere supply chain– are cut in half while U.S. manufacturers continue to face full tariffs on certain inputs and equipment not available domestically.”

For more information on NCTO’s position on the Section 301 China tariffs, please see here:

NCTO Comments on the Administration’s Announced Phase One Deal on 301 Tariffs December 13, 2019

NCTO Welcomes Administration’s Inclusion of Finished Apparel Textile Products on China Tariff List August 13, 2019

NCTO President CEO Kim Glas Testifies at U.S. Trade Representative’s Hearing on Proposed 301 Tariff List June 20, 2019

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 594,147 in 2018. 
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $76.8 billion in 2018. 
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $30.1 billion in 2018. 
  • Capital expenditures for textile and apparel production totaled $2.0 billion in 2017, the last year for which data is available.

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(202) 684-3091

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NCTO Member Company Lenzing Hosts Key Administration Officials at Plant in Alabama

WASHINGTON DC—National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) member Lenzing Fibers Inc. hosted Bill Jackson, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Textiles in the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) office; and Lloyd Wood, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Textiles, Consumers Goods and Materials at the U.S. Commerce Department; for a plant tour and broad discussion on the company’s commitment to U.S. investment and the administration’s key trade and investment priorities.

The two U.S. trade officials toured Lenzing’s Axis, Alabama facility on January 8 and met with Erwin Kuebel, Site Manager and President of LFI; David Adkins, Commercial Manager; John Patterson, Finance Director; Carla Miller, HR Director; Bob Keene, Logistics Manager; and also discussed an array of general policy priorities, including the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill and continued efforts to strengthen customs enforcement. Bill Jackson also briefed the group on the pending U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

The main focus of the discussion centered around maintaining the competitiveness of the U.S. textile industry through policies designed to encourage onshoring, boost exports and support Made in USA provisions, particularly the critical Berry Amendment.

Erwin Kuebel also emphasized that Lenzing is committed to and offers sustainable solutions for the textile industry. “We produce wood-based cellulose fibers, using renewable raw materials from controlled sources. Doing this, we help to improve the eco-footprint of the industry. Lenzing is committed to reduce its CO2-footprint by 50% till 2030, and has a vision to become a CO2-neutral group of companies by 2050. Moreover: Lenzing, as a top sustainable company in the industry, is the first wood-based fiber producer with approved science-based targets.”

“We are so pleased to have two administration officials visit Lenzing, a very valued member of NCTO,” said NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas. “Lenzing is a significant innovator in the industry and has made significant investments in the U.S, helping drive the overall investment of $20 billion made by the entire industry over the past decade.”

From 2009 to 2017, capital investment in U.S. yarn, fabric, apparel and sewn products manufacturing equaled $2.04 billion, an increase of $678 million. U.S. textile and apparel shipments grew to $76.8 billion in 2018 and total employment in the textile and apparel supply chain reached 594,000 jobs.

Lenzing executives also highlighted the importance of the USMCA to the textile industry in general, which was passed by the House of Representatives in December and is expected to come to a vote in the Senate early this year, as a key way to strengthen the Western Hemisphere supply chain.

USMCA would update and replace the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The NAFTA supply chain accounts for $20 billion in annual trilateral textile and apparel trade and is important to the continued growth of the industry. The updated USMCA makes several key improvements for textile businesses, like stronger rules of origin for sewing thread, pocketing, narrow elastics and certain coating fabrics. In addition, it fixes the Kissell Amendment loophole and ensures stronger customs enforcement—all benefiting the U.S. textile industry.

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 594,147 in 2018. 
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $76.8 billion in 2018. 
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $30.1 billion in 2018. 
  • Capital expenditures for textile and apparel production totaled $2.0 billion in 2017, the last year for which data is available.

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NCTO Lauds Expected House Passage of USMCA

December 19, 2019

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), representing the full spectrum of U.S. textiles from fiber though finished sewn products, issued the following statement regarding the expected passage today of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) by the U.S. House of Representatives.

“Passage of the USMCA in the House today will mark a significant step forward in advancing the trade deal through Congress and we urge the Senate to pass it swiftly,” said NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas. “Mexico and Canada are the two largest export markets for the U.S. textile industry, totaling nearly $12 billion last year, and several provisions in USMCA will help producers expand and build new business in the critical Western Hemisphere supply chain.”

NCTO worked with the administration during negotiations on USMCA and successfully lobbied for several provisions and improvements that were subsequently incorporated in the trade deal that will close loopholes and strengthen U.S. Customs enforcement.

“We expect U.S. textile companies to export more to the region and invest more in the U.S. when USMCA is implemented,” Glas said. “Textile executives from North Carolina to New York have said they will seek to take advantage of the modifications in the trade deal and build new business in areas such as pocketing and sewing thread, as a result of stronger rules of origin and Customs enforcement.”

The USMCA updates and modifies the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and makes significant improvements, including:

  • Creation of a separate chapter for textiles and apparel rules of origin with strong customs enforcement language.
  • Stronger rules of origin for sewing thread, pocketing, narrow elastics and certain coated fabrics.  Under the current NAFTA, these items can be sourced from outside the region – USMCA fixes this loophole and ensures these secondary components are originating to the region.
  • Fixes the Kissell Amendment Buy American loophole, ensuring that a significant amount the Department of Homeland Security spends annually on clothing and textiles for the Transportation Security Administration is spent on domestically produced products.

This release follows NCTO’s previous endorsement of the deal reached between House Democrats and the administration last week.

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 594,147 in 2018. 
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $76.8 billion in 2018. 
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $30.1 billion in 2018. 
  • Capital expenditures for textile and apparel production totaled $2.0 billion in 2017, 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 Comments on the Administration’s Announced Phase One Deal on 301 Tariffs

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), representing the full spectrum of U.S. textiles from fiber though finished sewn products, provides initial comments on the Phase One deal on 301 tariffs reached between the United States and China today.

“We look forward to reviewing the details of the agreement as it becomes available, including the intellectual property enforcement mechanisms agreed to by both countries.  We have long supported the administration’s efforts to re-balance our trade relationship with China that has significantly eroded our U.S. manufacturing base for decades,” Kim Glas, President and CEO of the National Council of Textile Organizations said.

The proposed announcement means that 301 duties on textile inputs will remain at a 25 percent tariff. Meanwhile, penalty duties on finished apparel and textile products implemented on Sept. 1st will be reduced from 15 percent to 7.5 percent, and proposed duties on finished products set to be put in place on Dec. 15th will no longer go into effect.

“NCTO has strongly supported applying tariffs on finished products as key negotiating leverage since textile and apparel production is a key pillar of the Chinese manufacturing economy.  Finished apparel, home furnishings and other made-up textile goods equate to 93.5 percent of U.S imports from China in our sector, while fiber, yarn and fabric imports from China only represents 6.5 percent, according to government data.  Today’s announcement reduces tariffs on finished products at the same time it keeps tariffs in place on key inputs that aren’t made in the U.S. such as certain dyes, chemicals, and textile machinery. We believe a wiser approach would be to maintain penalty duties on finished Chinese products while reducing 301 duties on key inputs that are used by U.S. manufacturers. Doing so will maintain maximum leverage on China to reach a more comprehensive and enforceable intellectual property agreement, while reducing input costs for U.S. manufacturers.  As domestic textile companies fight to compete with China and their illegal trade practices, it is important that U.S. manufacturers should be the first to see penalty duties removed on inputs not made in the United States.

As we review this Phase One agreement, it is important that the administration strike the proper balance of maintaining its leverage with China by keeping duties on finished product until a final strong and enforceable deal with China is completed.  We look forward to reviewing and analyzing the deal in more detail.”

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 594,147 in 2018. 
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $76.8 billion in 2018. 
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $30.1 billion in 2018. 
  • Capital expenditures for textile and apparel production totaled $2.0 billion in 2017, the last year for which data is available.

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(202) 684-3091 | (202) 822-8026

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