Bloomberg Exposé on Shein Reveals Clothing Contains Banned Forced-Labor Cotton, Underscores Urgency to Close a U.S. Loophole

Bloomberg News has published a hard-hitting investigative story this week that released findings of lab testing results that confirms certain clothing sold by e-commerce juggernaut Shein has been found to contain banned cotton produced with forced labor from the Xinjiang region of China.  Furthermore, the story details how Shein is utilizing a trade loophole called “de minimis” that is facilitating the entry of these banned products into the U.S. market with minimal scrutiny.

The Bloomberg feature story by reporter Sheridan Prasso titled, “Shein’s Cotton Tied to Chinese Region Accused of Forced Labor,” outlines how “laboratory testing conducted for Bloomberg News on two occasions this year found that garments shipped to the U.S. by Shein were made with cotton from China’s Xinjiang region.”

The exposé chronicles how cotton grown and harvested by Xinjiang forced labor continues to bleed into global textile and apparel supply chains and is further facilitated by a little-known trade loophole called the “Section 321 de minimis exception”. This exception, which is routinely utilized by Shein and certain other e-commerce companies, allows imports valued under $800 to come into the United States with minimal review and without paying duties, taxes, and fees.

Through this massive and rapidly growing loophole, approximately 2.7 million individual shipments falling below an $800 value enter the U.S. market each day, according to the latest data. In fact, the U.S. is on record pace for 1 billion de minimis shipments this year alone.

The explosion in e-commerce shipments using the Section 321 tariff waivers spawned new companies, like Shein, to create a multi-billion-dollar empire built on the foundation of a legal, but severely damaging tariff loophole.

We don’t know who is making these products, if they are safe, or if they use forced labor. In fact, unbelievably, these products get rewarded duty-free status. What’s the point of a free trade agreement with high labor and environmental standards, if there is a “click here” workaround that facilitates a race to the bottom?

According to the report, Agroisolab GmbH in Jülich, Germany, tested the garments using stable isotope analysis, “which measures variations in the isotopes of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen present in the cotton’s fibers to indicate the altitude and other climate characteristics of the region where it was grown.”

The lab compared Shein’s cotton fabric with fabric from Xinjiang that Bloomberg obtained from a U.S. apparel company with operations in China. A second test compared the Shein item with another sample the lab had previously obtained from Xinjiang, according to the Bloomberg report.

“We have to conclude it is a typical sample from Xinjiang, China,” Agroisolab’s CEO Markus Boner told Bloomberg.

The test results also ruled out “with more than 95% probability” several other cotton-growing regions, including India, Egypt, Australia, the U.S. and China’s Shandong province, according to the story.

Congress overwhelmingly supported and passed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) banning products made of forced labor, including Xinjiang cotton. This law took effect in January 2021. Yet, this loophole in our tariff structure, has created an enormous workaround that is allowing these banned forced labor products to  make their way to our doorsteps and into our closets on a daily basis.

House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee Chairman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), who has authored and continues to push for key legislation to help close this loophole, has noted: “This loophole also makes it easier for people to import illegal goods and harmful products, because there is virtually no way to tell whether these packages contain products made through forced labor, intellectual property theft, or are otherwise dangerous.”

Until Congress and/or the administration acts to close the de minimis loophole, Chinese companies like Shein will continue to run a speeding train right through this loophole tunnel.

The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) has been very active over the past several years working in a broad coalition to amplify the urgent need for the administration and Congress to use their authorities to close this enormous trade gap.

In congressional testimony before the House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee last December, I outlined recommendations for Congress aimed at confronting unfair Chinese trade practices, including closing the de minimis loophole.

We must ensure this loophole is addressed immediately to combat the use of forced labor in China and in other areas of the world. Failure to address the de minimis loophole will continue an “open door” policy that invites China and others to ship duty free to the United States illegal and unsafe products that undermine American businesses and jobs, while also diluting any efforts to rein in its abhorrent human rights abuses.

What cannot be ignored is that these practices and this loophole continue to hurt domestic manufacturers, undermine our forced labor laws, and weaken our carefully negotiated free agreement trade structure.

This is why we need Congress and the administration to urgently act and make the policy changes we need to close this damaging loophole once and for all.

Barnet Hosts Congressman Greg Murphy (R-N.C.); Highlights the Importance of Supporting Policies that Bolster the Competitiveness of the U.S. Textile Industry

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Greg Murphy (R-N.C.) met with executives at William Barnet & Son LLC (Barnet) and toured a facility in Kinston, N.C. today, where the company’s innovation, advances in sustainable practices and its important contribution to the North Carolina economy were on full display.

Congressman Murphy’s visit is critical and comes at a pivotal time for the U.S. textile supply chain, which produced $65.2 billion in output in 2021 and employed nearly 535,000 workers. Barnet is part of the broader industry that is a major factor in high-tech and sustainable innovation in the production of everything from heart valves and stents to aircraft bodies and advanced body armor.

Barnet is a global manufacturing, recycling, and trading company, specializing in a wide range of fibers, polymers and yarns. Founded in Albany, N.Y. in 1898 by William Barnet, the company has been dedicated to a vision of being the world’s most respected, creative, versatile and sustainable solution provider to its customers and suppliers. The company currently employs over 400 employees worldwide.

During the discussion with Congressman Murphy, Barnet executives discussed several policy priorities that have far-reaching implications for North Carolina and the entire U.S. textile industry.

They also outlined the importance of policies aimed at bolstering onshoring and nearshoring production, closing a legal loophole in U.S. trade law that continues to undermine American manufacturing and gives China an advantage, and U.S. trade policy on China.

“We are honored to have hosted Dr. Murphy at our Kinston facility today,” said Chuck Hall, president of Barnet. “The opportunity to discuss important policies that impact not only our everyday business operations but the entire industry’s operations is invaluable. It is critical that U.S. trade policy centers around keeping the industry competitive. In particular, we discussed the need to maintain China 301 penalty tariffs, to fix a loophole in U.S. trade law known as the de minimis mechanism, which allows a package of goods valued at $800 or less per person to come into the country duty free every day and gives China backdoor access to the U.S. market, and to find a better process for renewing the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) which allows U.S. manufacturers duty-free access to raw materials that are no longer produced within our borders. We look forward to continuing to the work with the congressman on policies that help drive onshoring and nearshoring to the U.S. and the Western Hemisphere and those that support strong government procurement and American-made products.”

“It was wonderful to meet with Barnet’s officials and tour their impressive textile facility today. North Carolina’s textile industry is a huge driver for our economy, directly employing nearly 40,000 workers and generating over $2.7 billion in textile-related exports,” said Rep. Greg Murphy, M.D. “I am grateful to the industry leaders who took the time to discuss how we can expand this great industry, grow our state’s economy, and protect domestic manufacturing.”

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NCTO is a Washington, DC-based trade association that represents domestic textile manufacturers.

  • U.S. employment in the textile supply chain was 534,000 in 2021.
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $65.2 billion in 2021.
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $28.4 billion in 2021.
  • Capital expenditures for textiles and apparel production totaled $1.85 billion in 2020, the last year for which data is available.

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CONTACT:

Kristi Ellis

Vice President, Communications

National Council of Textile Organizations

kellis@ncto.org |  202.684.3091

U.S. Textiles: MMI Textile’s 25th Anniversary

Ohio-based textile manufacturer MMI Textiles celebrates its 25th year in business! Listen to CEO & Founder Amy Bircher discuss the company’s beginnings and future goals and the importance of making textiles in America. Happy 25th anniversary from NCTO!

Textile Executives Highlight Importance of Industry & Urge Support of Policies Bolstering U.S. Competitiveness at Roundtable with Rep. Greg Murphy (R-NC)

WASHINGTON, DC – Textile executives spanning the fiber, yarn, fabric, and finished product textile industries participated in a roundtable discussion with Rep. Greg Murphy (R-NC) today. During the roundtable executives showcased the industry’s innovation, advances in sustainable practices and its important contribution to the North Carolina and the U.S. economy, while raising several priority issues in Washington that have far-reaching implications for North Carolina and the entire U.S. textile industry.

The roundtable discussion, hosted by the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), was held at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina.

North Carolina is the second largest state employer of textile-related jobs with over 36,000 workers, and those jobs play a vital role in supporting 108,000 additional jobs throughout the state. The state’s $2.7 billion in textile-related exports leads the nation.

During the roundtable, executives outlined critical policies, such as the importance of maintaining the yarn forward rules of origin in the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) and other trade agreements, advancing the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill and its importance to domestic manufacturers, upholding buy American and Berry Amendment government procurement policies, ensuring the administration is implementing the “Make PPE in America Act” as intended, and the need to address larger systemic trade issues, particularly the use of forced labor, with China.

Congressman Murphy’s visit is critical and comes at a pivotal time for the U.S. textile supply chain, which produced $65.2 billion in output in 2021 and employed nearly 535,000 workers. The industry has been at the forefront of domestic manufacturing of over 1 billion personal protective equipment (PPE) items during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“North Carolina’s textile industry is a huge driver for our economy, directly employing nearly 40,000 workers and generating over $2.7 billion in textile-related exports,” said Rep. Murphy, M.D. “I was grateful to hear from so many outstanding industry leaders during our roundtable today, and I am confident that we have the tools needed to bolster this great industry in our state. As the proud representative for North Carolina on the Ways and Means Committee, it’s an honor to work alongside NCTO to promote American jobs, grow our state economy, and protect domestic manufacturing.”

NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas said, “We sincerely appreciate Rep. Murphy’s participation in today’s industry roundtable, where he heard directly from textile executives with operations in North Carolina about opportunities and challenges confronting the industry. North Carolina has a vibrant textile industry, which employs technologically advanced and highly innovative operations, to produce a vast array of products, including high-tech components for everything from heart valves and stents to aircraft bodies and advanced body armor for our warfighters to critical PPE for the government and private sector. The importance of the U.S. textile industry to the U.S. economy and job growth cannot be overstated. That is why it is imperative that we have sound trade and government procurement policies that not only supports domestic production but also bolster our integrated coproduction chain with our Western Hemisphere trading partners. We look forward to continuing to work with Congressman Murphy on policies that: spur investment in North Carolina, the United States and the entire hemisphere; support strong government procurement policies centered around American-made products; and lead to strong enforcement of illegal trade practices that continue to give China and other countries backdoor to the U.S. market.”

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NCTO is a Washington, DC-based trade association that represents domestic textile manufacturers.

  • U.S. employment in the textile supply chain was 534,000 in 2021.
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $65.2 billion in 2021.
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $28.4 billion in 2021.
  • Capital expenditures for textiles and apparel production totaled $1.85 billion in 2020, the last year for which data is available.

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CONTACT:

Kristi Ellis

Vice President, Communications

National Council of Textile Organizations

kellis@ncto.org |  202.684.3091

U.S. Educational Institutions Partner with Honduran University to Educate and Train Thousands of Students for Textile Jobs as Nearshoring and Onshoring Drives Historic Investments and Job Growth

WASHINGTON – North Carolina educational institutions are joining forces with a key Honduran university to educate and train thousands of students for the next generation textile workforce to meet a rising tide of nearshoring and onshoring in Honduras, Central America and the United States.

With backing from the U.S. Department of State, North Carolina State University, Gaston College, and Catawba Valley Community College signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Honduran-based Central American Technological University (UNITEC) today at a signing ceremony at Gaston College in Dallas, N.C.

High-level U.S. and Honduran government officials, including: Jose W. Fernandez, Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment; Jennifer Knight, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Textiles, Consumer Goods and Materials at the U.S. Department of Commerce; and Hector Zelaya, private secretary to Honduran President Xiomara Castro, participated in a roundtable discussion with textile executives and educational leaders as well as today’s MOU signing ceremony.

The U.S. Department of State issued a statement of public support today for the MOU and the unique collaboration between the U.S. and Honduran institutions.

The groundbreaking initiative will launch a series of educational workforce development programs, ranging from training and certificate programs to undergraduate and graduate degrees, in textile-related areas of study.

The partnership comes at a defining moment for the U.S., Honduras and Central America, which are seeing historical levels of investment in textile and apparel production stemming from a global supply chain crisis that has driven a significant shift in sourcing out of Asia to the U.S. and the region. Nearly $1 billion of historic textile and apparel investment is anticipated in the U.S. and Central America this year alone. And this partnership also creates an educational pathway to economic opportunity in Honduras and the region that not only creates a skilled and resilient workforce but can also help to address the root causes of irregular migration.

Current growth projections indicate a need for more than 10,000 new skilled workers in the textile industry in Honduras alone over the next five years. In order to meet these needs, educational programming is needed at all levels.

The U.S. and this region are inextricably linked through a textile and apparel co-production chain under the U.S.-Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) that has generated $12.6 billion in annual two-way trade in the sector and supports 1 million workers in the U.S. and the region.

North Carolina plays a central role in this co-production chain. It is the second largest state for textile employment nationally with over 36,000 workers, and the state’s $2.7 billion in textile-related exports leads the nation. The Northern Triangle, including Honduras, is a major export destination for U.S. yarns and fabrics that come back as finished items under the U.S.-CAFTA-DR trade agreement.

In addition to participating in the signing ceremony and the earlier industry roundtable, Under Secretary Fernandez, Deputy Assistant Secretary Knight and Secretary Zelaya toured two of Gildan’s yarn-spinning facilities in Salisbury, N.C., a leading apparel manufacturer that has invested over $700 million since 2013 across its network of yarn-spinning facilities in the United States.

“The MOU signed today is a win on so many levels. Firstly, it is a win for U.S. textile manufacturers who operate in both the U.S. and Central America as they build more resilient and economically and environmentally sustainable supply chains. Secondly, it’s a win for the Wilson College of Textiles and NC State in advancing its land-grant mission to support economic prosperity and provide transformative opportunities for people of all ages in North Carolina and beyond in collaboration with our community college partners and now UNITEC in Honduras,” said David Hinks, Dean of the Wilson College of Textiles, North Carolina State University. “Together we will train the next generation of textile workers, leaders and academics in this critical production chain. These workforce programs will have a ripple effect throughout Central America, the region and the United States, spurring job growth and more investment, and not just in textiles and apparel. Hundreds of our industry partners that work with our college closely are looking to re-engineer their supply chains out of China to the United States and Central America. This new partnership will provide a near seamless educational and training pathway to building an even stronger textile and apparel co-production chain between the U.S. and CAFTA-DR countries, which collectively supports 1.1 million workers.”

“This is an incredible opportunity to build a partnership and bridge between U.S. educational institutions and UNITEC. Through this collaboration, we will develop education and workforce training programs that will support the vibrant textile and apparel co-production chain between Honduras and the United States,” said Dr. John Hauser, President of Gaston College. “The time is now to invest in the future of the textile and apparel industries, and Gaston College and Catawba Valley Community College look forward to playing a key role in training textile operators to support the impressive growth and investment in this critical sector.”

“By signing this academic MOU, we bring education and industry together between two economies with a strong history of success in the textile industry. This is a great example of creating valuable partnerships aimed at developing the workforce to be more competitive to operate in a global market,” said Dr. Marlon Brevé-Reyes, UNITEC Rector.

Under Secretary Fernandez said, “The United States is very supportive of the academic partnership announced here today which will lead to increased opportunities in co-production and will benefit both the United States and Central America. Investment in workforce and adherence to strong labor standards and good labor practices are essential to creating sustainable and resilient supply chains.”

“President Xiomara Castro welcomes today’s announcement and is actively engaged in creating a good investment climate in Honduras. The MOU signed today will help provide economic opportunities to textile workers in our country and strengthen our ties,” said Secretary Zelaya.

“As we work to create more sustainable and resilient global supply chains, this sector is in a window of opportunity,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary Knight. “The innovations that U.S. and Central American textile and apparel companies create to reduce environmental impact and increase transparency across their supply chains can set them apart from global competitors, and today’s workforce development initiative is a key element in turning this vision into reality.”

National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President and CEO Kim Glas stated, “This partnership demonstrates the critical need for education and training programs for the next generation of academics and textile employees to meet head-on the global sourcing shift that has been driving production out of Asia to Honduras, the entire CAFTA-DR region and the United States. Collaboration on this scale will support our critical co-production chain in the CAFTA-DR region and further enhance investments for the years to come. U.S. and Honduran government support for this private sector collaboration is crucial. We sincerely appreciate the statement of support issued by the State Department, as well as the participation in today’s events by Under Secretary Fernandez, Deputy Assistant Secretary Knight and Secretary Zelaya. It’s important these efforts are supported and funded in order to help expand growth opportunities in the U.S. and Central American textile and apparel production efforts. This is an exciting time for our industry.”

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NCTO is a Washington, DC-based trade association that represents domestic textile manufacturers.

  • U.S. employment in the textile supply chain was 534,000 in 2021.
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $65.2 billion in 2021.
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $28.4 billion in 2021.
  • Capital expenditures for textiles and apparel production totaled $1.85 billion in 2020, the last year for which data is available.

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PRESS CONTACTS:

Kristi Ellis

Vice President, Communications

National Council of Textile Organizations

kellis@ncto.org |  202.281.9305

Mary Cullen

Project Specialist

NP Strategy

4141 Parklake Avenue, Suite 200, Raleigh, NC 27612

T: 919.653.7814, C: 630.272.5691

mary@npstrategy.com

In Her Words: Rep. Kathy Manning (D-NC) Gives Insights Into the Importance of U.S. Textiles After Industry Roundtable

In Her Words–Congresswoman Kathy Manning, representing North Carolina’s sixth congressional district, met with North Carolina textile manufacturing leaders to hear from industry executives and discuss her work in Congress to bolster domestic textile manufacturing. “In Congress, I am committed to supporting our homegrown industry by making PPE in America, by protecting the yarn forward rule of origin in our trade agreements, and by cracking down on China’s unfair trade practices,” she says. Tune in to hear the Congresswoman’s perspective!

China Penalty Tariffs on Finished Textiles & Apparel Give U.S. Companies a Chance to Compete and are a Powerful Trade-Negotiation Tool, NCTO Tells U.S. International Trade Commission

WASHINGTON—Section 301 penalty tariffs on finished Chinese textile and apparel imports give American manufacturers a chance to compete and provide trade officials with an essential trade negotiation tool, the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) told a key government panel today in a formal written submission. Removing them, the association said, would reward China, put U.S. manufacturers at a competitive disadvantage and do nothing to reduce inflation.

Those were among the key points outlined by NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas in a written testimony submitted to the U.S. International Trade Commission during three days of hearings on the economic impact of Section 301 China tariffs and Section 232 steel tariffs on U.S. industries.

The 301 penalty tariffs should be maintained “absent substantive improvements in China’s pervasive, predatory trade practices,” Glas said in her testimony.  China’s illegal actions “have put U.S. companies at a serious disadvantage, and tariffs give American manufacturers a chance to compete.” Glas noted that U.S. trade officials have “stressed that the penalty tariffs also create leverage and are a ‘significant tool’ in ongoing negotiations with China.”

While some advocates for lifting the tariffs point to concerns about inflation, Glas said, “canceling these penalty duties would do little to ease Americans’ inflationary pains.” She also noted that “apparel prices out of China continue to hit rock bottom even with the Section 301 tariffs in place. As detailed in an economic study recently released by Werner International, U.S. import prices for apparel from China have dropped 25 percent since 2019 and 50 percent since 2011.”

Glas also warned that lifting the tariffs would have “a substantial negative ripple effect” on U.S. free-trade agreements, including undermining those with Western Hemisphere partners that have established shorter coproduction supply chains and serve other U.S. and regional interests.

The Section 301 tariffs were first imposed in 2018 in response to China’s persistent violations of intellectual property rules. By law, they are now under review.

NCTO represents the full spectrum of the U.S. textile industry, from fibers to finished sewn products.

See the full written submission here.

NCTO is a Washington, DC-based trade association that represents domestic textile manufacturers.

  • U.S. employment in the textile supply chain was 534,000 in 2021.
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $65.2 billion in 2021.
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $28.4 billion in 2021.
  • Capital expenditures for textiles and apparel production totaled $1.85 billion in 2020, the last year for which data is available.

Download Release

CONTACT:

Kristi Ellis

Vice President, Communications

National Council of Textile Organizations

kellis@ncto.org |  202.684.3091

Lifting Tariffs Rewards China, Fails to Ease Inflation

By NCTO President & CEO Kimberly Glas

People are desperate. Inflation is causing pain as it eats away at household budgets. But in our desperation to do something about it, we shouldn’t grasp at solutions that would have no real impact and, in fact, would be counterproductive.

Yet that’s what some are now proposing as they call for lifting penalty tariffs placed on Chinese imports. Yes, at first glance, it may seem like an easy and quick step to take in desperate times, when there are few simple remedies at hand. But we shouldn’t fool ourselves. Removing tariffs now would not make any real difference to the inflationary pain Americans are feeling, and it would set us back a long way in our fight against China’s predatory trade practices. In fact, certain retailers recently said removing tariffs would likely have a negligible effect on lowering retail prices. Barclays noted the same in their recent analysis.

What is at stake and under active consideration now are the tariffs, imposed in 2018 under Section 301 of U.S. trade laws, to penalize China for a whole range of predatory trade practices. Now, at the four-year mark after their imposition, the U.S. Trade Representative is required by law to review whether they should remain in place.

Opponents of tariffs have grabbed on to this mandatory review and hope to use inflation as the excuse for removing them. We shouldn’t fall for that ruse. Lifting tariffs would fail to ease inflationary pressures, and it would open the floodgates to more Chinese imports and show that the United States isn’t serious about addressing China’s trade abuses.

Tariffs didn’t cause our inflationary woes. These tariffs were in place for nearly three years before inflation took hold. In fact, average U.S. apparel import prices from China have dropped significantly and are down 25 percent since 2019 and 50 percent since 2011.

Households are feeling the most pain from rising gas, food and housing prices, not the tariffs.

Further, let’s not lose sight of why the tariffs were imposed in the first place. China’s illegal trading actions have harmed nearly every American manufacturing sector and cost us millions of U.S. jobs and hollowed out whole communities. China’s “devastating state-sponsored practices include intellectual property theft as well as pervasive state-ownership of manufacturing, industrial subsidies, and abhorrent labor and human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region,” three textile organizations representing companies that are part of a domestic industry employing 530,000 workers said recently in an official submission opposing the lifting of tariffs on finished textiles and apparel imports from China.

The joint textile industry submission to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative further noted that lifting the tariffs now also would “threaten to reverse the once-in-a-generation nearshoring trends that are bringing supply chains back to the U.S. and Western Hemisphere.” Our regional trade agreements, which have unlocked historic levels of investment, would be undermined if we prematurely suspend tariffs without achieving policy reforms in China.

And U.S. textile, apparel and other manufacturers are not alone in calling for the tariffs to remain in place. Labor leaders have pointed to the loss of jobs the move would trigger. And a bipartisan group of senators spanning the ideological spectrum wrote President Biden that, “Rolling back the tariffs on China would undermine the U.S. position in negotiations. . .and signal to China that waiting out the United States is preferable to changing their non-market behavior.”

Negotiations with China continue as we seek to address longstanding trade violations and its failure to comply with the Phase One agreement it made with the United States in 2020. U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai has emphasized that the tariffs provide the United States with needed leverage in those talks.

Alarmists say tariffs block the importation of hard-to-get products. Yet, it’s the over concentration of production in China, fueled by unfair trading practices, that has been a key driver of these very shortages. China’s monopolization of numerous industries has been uncovered as purposeful and strategic, with devastating consequences, as in the case of PPE. Backing down on policies like the 301 tariffs is antithetical to addressing our supply chain woes.

Instead, very targeted exclusions are appropriate on certain inputs or machinery that have very limited sources of availability to help domestic manufacturers compete and create more onshoring and nearshoring. A broad rollback of the penalty duties is simply not the answer.

Today, we must stay the course and hold China accountable. That starts with rejecting the false promise that repealing tariffs will make inflation or product shortages go away. Instead, we must remain tough on China and stand up for American manufacturers and workers.

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Kimberly Glas is the president and CEO of the National Council of Textile Organizations and is an appointed commissioner to the U.S. China Economic and Security Review Commission, and former Commerce deputy assistant secretary for textiles and apparel.

 

 

 

NCTO Announces Winner of the 2022 Paul T. O’Day Memorial Scholarship

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Council of Textile Organization’s (NCTO) Fiber Council announces Ms. Abigail McBee, of Gaffney, SC as the recipient of the 2022 Paul T. O’Day Scholarship Award. She is the daughter of Emily and Douglas McBee, who works for Auriga Polymers/Indorama Ventures in Spartanburg, SC.

NCTO Chairman David Poston, President of Palmetto Synthetics LLC, commented, “We are pleased to recognize Ms. McBee’s exceptional record of academic achievements with her selection as the 2022 recipient of the Paul T. O’Day Memorial Scholarship. All of us on the Fiber Council congratulate Ms. McBee and wish her continued success in her academic career.”

The scholarship program was created in 2014 in honor of Paul T. O’Day who served as President of the American Fiber Manufacturers Association (AFMA) for more than three decades. The Association merged with the National Council of Textile Organizations in April 2018, and NCTO’s Fiber Council now administers the scholarship program. Recipients receive a $5,000 award each year, totaling $20,000 for four years of study. Sons or daughters of NCTO’s Fiber Council member company employees are eligible to apply.

NCTO is a Washington, DC-based trade association that represents domestic textile manufacturers.

  • U.S. employment in the textile supply chain was 534,000 in 2021.
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $65.2 billion in 2021.
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $28.4 billion in 2021.
  • Capital expenditures for textiles and apparel production totaled $1.85 billion in 2020, the last year for which data is available.

# # #

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CONTACT: Robin Haynes

(704) 824-3522

www.ncto.org

Textile Groups Urge U.S. to Maintain Penalty Tariffs on Finished Products; Lifting Tariffs Would Cement China’s Dominance of Global Manufacturing

WASHINGTON – The Biden administration should maintain Section 301 penalty tariffs on finished textiles and apparel or risk reversing once-in-a-lifetime nearshoring trends and undermining critical investments and jobs in the U.S. and Western Hemisphere, three key American textile manufacturing groups said today.

In a formal submission to the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) office, which is conducting a four-year statutory review of the tariffs, the associations expressed strong support for the continuation of penalty tariffs on imports from China and warned of the consequences associated with removing the tariffs.

“A key aspect of [the Biden administration’s trade] policy is the need to maintain Section 301 tariffs, absent substantive improvements in China’s pervasive, predatory trade practices,” the groups said. Lifting the tariffs “would also do nothing to achieve the administration’s goal of easing inflationary pressures, as apparel prices out of China continue to hit rock bottom even with the Section 301 tariffs,” they noted.

The submission was filed by the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) and the Narrow Fabrics Institute (NFI) and Industrial Fabrics Institute (USIFI) – both divisions of the Advanced Textiles Association (ATA).  The associations represent the entirety of the U.S. textile production chain.

“For decades, China’s illegal actions have undermined virtually every domestic manufacturing sector and contributed to the direct loss of millions of U.S. jobs. These devastating state-sponsored practices include intellectual property theft as well as pervasive state-ownership of manufacturing, industrial subsidies, and abhorrent labor and human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region,” they noted. “Cancelling these tariffs would create further unhealthy dependence on Chinese supply chains and embolden future systematic trade abuses as bad actors know that the U.S. will not hold them accountable.”

The tariffs were imposed on China beginning in 2018 in response to China’s continuing IP and related trade violations. China has since failed to comply with an agreement it reached with the United States in 2020.

See the full submission here.

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CONTACT:

Kristi Ellis

National Council of Textile Organizations

kellis@ncto.org |  202.684.3091

Janelle Buerkley

U.S. Industrial Fabrics Institute/Narrow Fabrics Institute

Janelle.buerkley@textiles.org | 651.225.6948

The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) is a not-for-profit trade association established to represent the entire spectrum of the United States textile sector, from fibers to yarns to fabrics to finished products, as well as suppliers of numerous support services such as trucking, banking, chemicals, and other such sectors that have a stake in the prosperity and survival of the U.S. textile sector.  U.S. textile and apparel manufacturers produced $65.2 billion in output in 2021, and our sector’s supply chain employs 534,000 workers from fiber to finished sewn products.  NCTO’s headquarters are in Washington, DC.  www.ncto.org

The Narrow Fabrics Institute (NFI) is a division of the Advanced Textiles Association (ATA) formerly known as the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) whose mission is to work on common interests and issues in the narrow fabrics industry.  Narrow fabrics are defined as textiles that are no more than 12 inches (300mm) in width and are made by weaving, knitting, or braiding fibers or yarns with an edge to prevent unraveling.  The primary product areas of NFI’s member companies include automotive, military, safety, transportation, medical, and others such as aerospace, industrial, pet, recreational, and electronics.  The North America market for narrow fabrics is estimated at over $335 million in annual sales.  https://narrowfabrics.textiles.org/

The United States Industrial Fabrics Institute (USIFI) is a division of the Advanced Textiles Association (ATA), formerly known as the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI).  Member companies manufacture highly-specialized textile products, advanced materials, and components used to support a variety of high-value-added and sophisticated industries.  These include the aerospace, automotive, construction, marine, medical, military, and safety/protective gear sectors among others.  USIFI currently has 50 member companies, and its headquarters are in Roseville, MN.  https://usindustrialfabrics.textiles.org/