American Textiles: We Make Amazing Sustainability Series

American Textiles: We Make Amazing Sustainability Series – Unifi, Inc.

North Carolina-based Unifi Inc., a global producer of synthetic and recycled performance fibers, has been a leader in the industry—not only through its corporate culture and REPREVE® recycled performance fibers, which have touched every corner of the apparel supply chain, but also through campaigns and collaborations with organizations to raise awareness of the corporate stewardship aimed at mitigating the impact of manufacturing processes on the environment.

The company’s recycling efforts have been driven and widely adopted by the entire apparel supply chain.

Unifi’s REPREVE brand, launched in 2007, has transformed more than 19 billion plastic bottles into recycled fiber for new clothing, shoes, home goods and other consumer products made by leading brands. The company is on track to hit its goal of 20 billion plastic bottles in 2020.

Jay Hertwig, Unifi’s Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing

The brand uses 45% less energy, 20% less water, and has reduced greenhouse gases by 30% versus virgin polyester production, according to Jay Hertwig, Unifi’s Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing. The company’s total recycling of 20 billion bottles will offset the use of petroleum needed to produce virgin fiber, conserving 323.4 million gallons of water.

“REPREVE was born through a manufacturing excellence project where Unifi was trying to determine how we could be more efficient from an overall manufacturing standpoint. Even though we have a high production efficiency rate, we still produce waste,” Hertwig said. “We developed a product made from 100% waste in 2007.  Patagonia and Polartec started demand for Repreve as Patagonia was looking for fleece with recycled content.”

REPREVE has come a long way in just a decade. The number of customers using Unifi’s recycled fibers has grown significantly—from those two brands in 2007 to more than 700 brands globally, according to Hertwig.

Moreover, Unifi has invested heavily in recycling technologies and manufacturing—more than $150 million—over the past decade.

The company now operates its own recycling center in Yadkinville, N.C., which opened in 2010, as well as the REPREVE Bottle Processing Center, a $28 million investment, which opened in 2016.

“We continue to grow our REPREVE production year over year. It has become almost 40 percent of the total production at Unifi today.”

Asked whether Unifi could achieve 100 percent REPREVE production, Hertwig said “Once we started to see demand grow for REPREVE, our vision formed to one day run 100 percent recycled REPREVE production. It’s a lofty goal that comes with many challenges, but one we still strive to meet.”

“As we continue to invest in sustainable and recycling technologies, Unifi expects a larger portion of our production will be REPREVE-based in the future.”

 

Green Movement and Congressional Scrutiny

As consumer awareness, activism around pollution and calls for more eco-driven products continue to deepen, lawmakers are also increasing scrutiny of plastic pollution in particular and considering proposals to curb it. Some experts have warned that similar bills could be proposed to target microfiber pollution from petroleum-based materials such as polyester, acrylic and nylon.

Hertwig addressed some of the underlying concerns from a sustainability perspective within the context of the end-goal that Unifi is pursuing—curbing pollution through recycling, while creating more cost-savings and efficiencies.

“There are many opportunities for increasing recycling, especially in the United States, where the recycling rate is less than 30 percent. Recycling around the rest of the world is much higher,” Hertwig said.

“We are actively working with our customers and our stakeholders to explore potential impacts that microplastics and microfibers have on the environment. All the while, we remain dedicated to diverting billions of post-consumer plastic bottles, and textile waste, from oceans and landfills. We feel this is one of the most effective ways to mitigate plastic pollution, including microplastics, and to help to shift our economy from linear to circular,” Hertwig added.

As more attention is paid to microfiber pollution in synthetic clothing, companies are taking a closer look at solutions, investing in testing and exploring the effects of fiber shedding.

“We’re working with some brands that are doing research around microfiber pollution. It is a challenge to be overcome—to prevent loose fibers—but laundry equipment manufacturers offer some solutions in terms of removable filter systems,” Hertwig said. “The majority of our production is filament yarn, and if the yarn and fabric is processed in the right way, the fabric doesn’t shed.”

Unifi is on track to meet its goal of recycling 20 billion plastic bottles by 2020 using its REPREVE® technology.

 

Champions of Sustainability

Hertwig said Unifi’s REPREVE brand is expected to have another good year.

“We are definitely seeing more and more demand in various supply chains that we have around the world for REPREVE and recyclable material in general.”

Unifi launched its sustainability awards in 2017 to recognize brands, retailers and textile partners that are committed to sustainable sourcing.

Unifi announced the recipients of its Third Annual REPREVE Champions of Sustainability Awards on Thursday, Feb. 13.

The awards were given to 26 brand and retail partners that transformed 10 million or more recycled bottles and 42 textile partners that each transformed 50 million or more bottles through the use of REPREVE performance fibers.

Unifi recognized several companies, including H&M which recycled more than a half billion bottles and Walmart and Quicksilver, which reached the quarter billion bottle milestone.

“What we wanted to do with Champions of Sustainability is recognize brands, retailers and fabric suppliers, and highlight their efforts in producing eco-friendly sustainable material with REPREVE,” Hertwig said. “It generated such a level of interest in the supply chain, that many brands, retailers and mills contacted us to learn more about how to be recognized for using Repreve. As the sustainability movement started to grow within their organizations, they wanted to make sure they were getting credit. It has been a surprisingly successful program.”

At the end of the day, Hertwig said Unifi aims to create a higher level of awareness. The REPREVE tagline is “For the Good of Tomorrow.”

“Part of our goal is to create awareness and also educate as many customers and consumers about the importance of recycling through our different marketing campaigns and event appearances,” he said. “We’ve been doing that with our REPREVE national mobile tour, which is relaunching later this spring. It’s traveling across the United States to brands, retailers and different sporting events promoting the importance of recycling, while showing consumers how a bottle can become a pair of shoes, a jacket or automotive seat material.”

Unifi’s REPREVE® on display outside of their factory in Yadkinville, North Carolina.

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.

 

 

 

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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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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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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WASHINGTON UPDATE: NCTO Unites with 13 Trade Groups to Support USMCA

The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), representing the full spectrum of U.S. textiles from fiber through finished sewn products, joined 13 trade associations in a letter to House lawmakers this week, urging members to vote in favor of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

The House was expected to pass USMCA on December 19, 2019.

The USMCA updates and modifies the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and makes significant improvements that textile and cotton producers believe will help bolster cotton exports to the region, as well as the $20 billion in annual trilateral textile and apparel trade between the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

Mexico and Canada are the two largest export markets for U.S. textiles, totaling nearly $12 billion in 2018.

For U.S. cotton producers, Mexico is the top export market for U.S. raw cotton and the second largest export market for U.S. cotton textile and apparel products. Canada is the fourth largest market for those products, according to the National Cotton Council.

NCTO will continue to push for passage of USMCA in the Senate, which is expected to hold a vote early next year on the trade pact.

 

NCTO Lauds Expected House Passage of USMCA

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

WASHINGTON UPDATE: U.S. and China Complete Phase 1 Deal

Just ahead of a new round of tariffs scheduled to take effect December 15, the Trump administration announced a “Phase One” deal on December 13 that will suspend indefinitely those tariffs and reduce the rate for the list that went into place on September 1 (List 4A).  The text of the agreement has not yet been released; the U.S. and China are expected to sign it in early January.

Based on the latest information available, the deal includes new commitments covered by specific chapters on Intellectual Property; Technology Transfer; Agriculture; Financial Services; Currency; Expanding Trade; and Dispute Settlement.  A fact sheet summarizing the agreement is available here As part of the Expanding Trade section, China has committed to purchasing over the next two years an additional $200 billion of U.S. manufactured goods, agricultural products, energy products, and services, compared to a 2017 baseline.

In addition to canceling the December 15 tariffs, the United States agreed not to move forward with a previously discussed 5% increase to the tariff rate for Tranches 1-3, meaning that the tariff rate on the $250 billion covered by the first three lists will remain at 25%.  For Tranche 4A, the grouping that went into effect on September 1 at a 15% rate, the U.S. will cut that rate in half to 7.5%.  As a reminder, most apparel and home furnishing products are on Tranche 4A, while textile fibers, yarns and fabrics are part of Tranche 3.   It is unclear precisely when the decreased rate for 4A will take effect, although press reports indicate it will be 30 days after the agreement is signed.  Further, no firm plans have been announced yet as to when the U.S. and China will launch the second phase of the talks or what the scope will be.

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. See NCTO’s official press release here.

Further, an exclusion process for the Tranche 4A list is currently underway and will extend through January 31.  The online portal is available here, with exclusion requests being posted on a rolling basis.  Included below are further details for engaging in this process should your company wish to submit an exclusion request and/or respond to requests submitted by others that may overlap with your production capabilities or that of your customers.

Submitting a Tranche 4A Exclusion Request 

To submit an exclusion request, Requestors must first create an account See the $300 Billion Trade Action (List 4) webpage for more information on filing a request for an exclusion, submitting a response to a request, or replying to a response.  Exclusion requests must be submitted by January 31, 2019.

Viewing and Responding to Tranche 4A Exclusion Requests

The list of Tranche 4A exclusion requests posted to the public portal is available here and can be sorted by HTS number to better identify products of interest.  Interested parties do not need to register for an account to view a request or file a response to a request.  Responses and replies will be publicly viewable and should not contain Business Confidential Information.

After a request for exclusion of a particular product is posted to the portal, interested persons have 14 days to respond to the request to express support or opposition.  To file a response, first click on the associated “Exclusion Request ID” to view the public details of the request, then click the “Submit a New Response” button.

Requestors then have 7 days after a response is posted to file a reply.  If a response is filed, USTR indicates that the original Requestor will receive a notification email.  Requestors may file a reply by following the link in the notification email or by logging into their account and viewing the relevant response.

We strongly encourage members to review and continually monthly the exclusion portal through January 31, noting the 14-day window for any responses.  Please let NCTO know if you file a response.

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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CONTACT: Kristi Ellis | Rebecca Tantillo

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

www.ncto.org