NCTO Statement on Administration’s Reported Tariff Deferral

WASHINGTONThe National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), representing the full spectrum of U.S. textiles from fiber through finished products, issued a statement from NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas today in response to the administration’s plan to institute a 90-day deferral on MFN tariffs,  as reported by numerous press outlets.

The reported plan being pushed by the importing and retailing industries would defer MFN tariffs, including those on finished apparel products. It is an ill-advised policy that will hurt the U.S. textile industry at the very time it is answering the call of the nation to produce medical supplies to battle the coronavirus pandemic.

NCTO has been at the forefront of the efforts to deploy resources, converting production lines to manufacture urgently needed medical supplies like face masks and their textile components,  to address the critical need for personal protective equipment and other medical and sanitation supplies in the fight against the coronavirus.

These unnecessary tariff concessions would benefit importers and retailers at the direct expense of manufacturers on the front lines of the COVID-19 response and send a demoralizing message.

Tariff deferrals would severely exacerbate ramifications for the U.S. economy, manufacturers and workers and open the floodgates for imports.

If the U.S. government makes tariff concessions during this crisis, it will be inviting a virtual tsunami of imports further devastating domestic manufacturing as it attempts to regain its footing.

We urge the administration to abandon any moves to defer tariffs on finished products. It would only serve to allow importers to exploit the current crisis, while dealing a severe blow to U.S. manufacturing and its workers.

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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 585,240 in 2019.
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $75.8 billion in 2019.
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $29.1 billion in 2019.
  • Capital expenditures for textile and apparel production totaled $2.5 billion in 2018, the last year for which data is available.

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CONTACT: Kristi Ellis

(202) 684-3091

www.ncto.org

 

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

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

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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CONTACT: Kristi Ellis

(202) 684-3091

www.ncto.org

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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CONTACT: Kristi Ellis
(202) 684-3091
www.ncto.org

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

 

American Textiles: We Make Amazing Sustainability Series

American Textiles: We Make Amazing Sustainability Series

The U.S. textile industry’s investment in sustainability and the “circular economy” comes at a pivotal time.

Consumer demand continues to grow for eco-friendly products, legislators and regulators are taking a hard look at environmental issues across manufacturing industries, and executives across a broad industry spectrum are making sustainability a pillar of their business models.

For years, domestic textile producers have been developing effective sustainable technologies, practices and products to address the myriad challenges associated with reducing manufacturing waste, water and energy consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions—moves that have helped curb environmental impact.

While there is ample anecdotal evidence showing that the steps textile companies are taking in the U.S is reducing waste, water and energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, no academic or scientific studies exist to date that measure either the impact in the U.S. in aggregate.

However, scores of U.S.-based textile producers, brands and retailers publicly highlight their sustainability goals, commitments, policies and products on their websites.

Most industry executives and experts cite the Ellen MacArthur Foundation as the best credible source for measuring global textile and apparel pollution. China, which has a poor environmental track record and relies largely on coal-based energy, is the number one supplier of apparel imported to the U.S.

According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the global supply chain is accountable for consuming 98 million tons of non-renewable resources—from the oil used in synthetic fibers to pesticides and fertilizer in cotton production. Globally, the textile industry uses 93 billion cubic meters of water annually, including cotton farming, according to an Ellen MacArthur Foundation study in 2017. In addition, the Circular Fibres initiative (a consortium of NGOs, philanthropists, brands, and cities cited in the MacArthur report) estimates the global textile industry generated 1.2 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually.

Experts warn that all stakeholders both here and abroad will continue feeling the pressure to make greater progress in the years to come.

U.S. textile executives fully understand the drive for sustainability, which often yields benefits in the form of cost-savings and increased efficiencies, and many are at the forefront of the country’s recycling efforts, conservation efforts and advanced technology developments.

Against that backdrop, NCTO is launching a blog series on sustainability that will feature interviews with several textile executives and experts to highlight the industry’s progress, while also outlining challenges companies face in the quest to ultimately contribute to a cleaner environment.

 

 

 

2019 NCTO Accomplishments

2019 NCTO Accomplishments

Completed NCTO Leadership
Transition & Hosted Listening Sessions
As new NCTO President & CEO, Kim Glas led regional industry roundtables and listening sessions of fiber, yarn, fabric and industry support council members. New staff additions were introduced to members: Kristi Ellis, VP of Communications, Rebecca Tantillo, Digital Projects Manager and Don Vavala, Director of Procurement and Technical Affairs. The new NCTO staff heard from members on industry opportunities and challenges and their suggestions for NCTO’s overall strategy moving forward. We thank the membership for their support throughout this transition.
Secured Congressional Passage of USMCA NCTO led efforts to improve textile provisions in the NAFTA renegotiation and engaged heavily in the push to bring the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) to a vote. NCTO advocacy produced new usage requirements for regional components, such as sewing thread and pocketing; tariff preference level reductions; closure of the Kissell Amendment Buy-American loophole; and stronger customs enforcement tools. The revamped agreement was signed into U.S. law in January 2020 and awaits ratification in Canada prior to entry into force.
Advocated for a Strong Berry Amendment During consideration of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, NCTO pressed Congress to adopt provisions that would strengthen the Berry Amendment. As a result, the House Armed Services Committee has required DoD to review the domestic non-availability determination (DNAD) waiver process and brief the committee on the program’s current levels of effectiveness and transparency. We also marshalled strong bipartisan, bicameral support for fixing the Berry threshold.
Fought Expansion of GSP to Textiles & Apparel In 2019, brands and importers revived a concept to extend duty-free preferences on textiles and apparel to developing countries through the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program. NCTO joined with Western Hemisphere allies to voice strong, united opposition to undermining our negotiated FTA structure. Our active lobbying efforts produced op-eds, letters of opposition from Congress, regional industries and embassies, and numerous meetings with stakeholders—successfully preventing a bill from being introduced.
Engaged in China 301 Tariff Process NCTO supported the Trump administration’s Section 301 case against China’s intellectual property abuses, testifying on and submitting written comments documenting the damaging effects of China’s IP theft on U.S. textile manufacturers. NCTO advised placing tariffs on finished products, such as apparel and home furnishings, which would bring greater benefit to the North American textile supply chain. NCTO also advocated for an exclusion process for manufacturing inputs not available domestically. USTR reached a Phase 1 deal with China in December 2019.
Continued Industry-Wide Public Relations NCTO expanded its efforts to amply the voice of the American textile industry through a multi-pronged communications strategy. Through internal efforts, NCTO generated an ad equivalency value of more than $3.6 million in earned media. Adding to important assets such as NCTO.org and the weekly Textiles in the News (TIN) newsletter, NCTO launched a new blog at www.textilesinthenews.org and debuted a weekly press roundup.
Fostered Improved Textile Customs Enforcement CBP Executive Assistant Commissioner Brenda Smith spoke to attendees of NCTO’s Annual Meeting in March, highlighting the agency’s renewed engagement with the domestic textile industry on customs enforcement. This engagement includes regular meetings between NCTO and CBP personnel to improve industry-agency communication and collaboration on e-allegations and improve dialogue on CBP’s enforcement efforts.
Joined Formaldehyde Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) Consortium In early 2019, the EPA proposed formaldehyde, an important ingredient in textile finishing, as one of 20 high priority chemical substances for upcoming risk evaluations and potential regulation. In response, the American Chemical Council formed the Formaldehyde TSCA Risk Evaluation Consortium, which has been coordinating industry interests, providing a discussion forum and ensuring that industry participation is coordinated and complete. Consortium participation is open to all NCTO members.
Grew NCTO Military Activities NCTO continues to engage directly with the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), the DoD procurement arm that buys almost $2 billion in clothing & textiles annually. NCTO participated in numerous DLA planning and information-sharing forums including DLA Troop Support’s Clothing & Textiles partners meetings and DLA Industry Day at DLA headquarters in Virginia. NCTO was one of only six associations invited by the DLA Director to join his industry association advisory group.
Raised Profile with TextilePAC The TextilePAC is a vital aspect of NCTO’s advocacy efforts in Washington. Thanks to the active participation of NCTO member companies, the TextilePAC raised $135,661 and contributed a combined $111,500 to candidates for the House and Senate in 2019.
Supported MTB Process & Petition Vetting NCTO members were encouraged to engage in the new MTB cycle by filing petitions. NCTO worked with member companies, the Commerce Department, and International Trade Commission to review hundreds of MTB petitions and register objections to petitions that would directly hurt U.S. textile manufacturers. In 2020, NCTO will continue to work on behalf of its members to advance petitions on needed inputs while blocking harmful petitions on end items.

2019 NCTO Accomplishments

2018 NCTO Accomplishments

2017 NCTO Accomplishments

2016 NCTO Accomplishments

2015 NCTO Accomplishments

 

 

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 crack down 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

www.ncto.org

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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CONTACT: Kristi Ellis

(202) 684-3091

www.ncto.org

 

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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DOWNLOAD RELEASE

CONTACT: Kristi Ellis

(202) 684-3091

www.ncto.org