August 21, 2019
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. textile executives participated in a roundtable today with Representative Tom Rice (SC-07), a key member of the House Ways & Means Trade Subcommittee, at which they discussed the competitiveness of the domestic industry, outlined priority issues in Washington and explored ways to jointly push for passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
Congressman Rice, a leader on trade and competitiveness issues that heavily impact the domestic textile industry, participated in an executive roundtable hosted by Milliken & Company at its headquarters in Spartanburg, S.C.
“Milliken is honored to host Congressman Rice today to talk about innovation, competitiveness and the importance of passing USMCA,” Jeff Price, EVP of Milliken Operations stated. “USMCA makes several key updates to NAFTA that will enable our trilateral trade to become stronger, which benefits this key industry in South Carolina. We greatly appreciate the Congressman being here today and appreciate his leadership.”
Congressman Rice stated: “I was honored to participate in today’s roundtable with leaders in South Carolina’s textile industry to discuss the need to pass the USMCA as quickly as possible. Modernizing outdated trade agreements to reflect our 21st century economy will support American manufacturers and enhance our global competitiveness. I will bring the valuable input I received today back to Washington as I continue working to advance the USMCA and keep our economy booming.”
“We welcome Congressman Rice’s participation in the roundtable today as well as his continued support of the U.S. textile industry,” said NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas. “U.S. textile exports to Mexico and Canada totaled $12 billion last year, underscoring the importance of our Western Hemisphere supply chain. This key supply chain has helped drive the $20 billion in investment by the industry over the past decade and has also helped support investment and nearly 25,000 direct textile jobs in South Carolina alone.”
“Congressional passage of the USMCA trade agreement is one of our top legislative priorities this year,” Leib Oehmig, Chairman of NCTO and CEO of Glen Raven noted. “The new USMCA makes several important improvements that would benefit our industry and enhance our three-way trade. We look forward to continuing to work with Congressman Rice to help get this trade agreement over the finish line.”
USCMA would update and replace the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The NAFTA supply chain drives approximately $20 billion in annual trilateral textile and apparel trade, up from just $7 billion prior to NAFTA, and is important to the continued growth of the industry. The updated USMCA makes several key improvements, including stronger rules or origin for sewing thread, pocketing, narrow elastics and certain coating fabrics. In addition, it fixes the Kissell Amendment loophole and ensures stronger customs enforcement. These provisions will benefit our 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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CONTACT: Kristi Ellis