NCTO Endorses USMCA; Pledges to Lobby Congress to Adopt the Agreement

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) board of directors has voted to endorse the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The United States, Canada and Mexico signed the USMCA on November 30. 

“On behalf of the U.S. textile industry, thank you to President Trump, Ambassador Lighthizer and the entire U.S. negotiating team for your hard work in getting USMCA done,” said NCTO Chairman Marty Moran, CEO of Jefferson, GA-based Buhler Quality Yarns Corp.

“The new deal is better than NAFTA for the U.S. textile industry in many aspects and NCTO is pleased to endorse it,” Moran added.

“NCTO was in continuous communication with U.S. negotiators during USMCA talks, urging them to preserve and enhance the North American textile supply chain, and the deal reflects many of NCTO’s priorities,” Moran finished as he noted U.S. textile-related exports to Canada and Mexico totaled a combined $11.8 billion in 2017. 

“NCTO will begin educating Congress immediately on how USMCA is an improvement over NAFTA and assuming any implementing legislation is restricted to the terms of the agreement as negotiated, we will press for its passage in early 2019,” said NCTO President & CEO Auggie Tantillo

USMCA improvements over NAFTA include:

·       A standalone chapter for textile and apparel; NAFTA does not have a separate chapter covering textile and apparel rules of origin

·       Stronger rules of origin for sewing thread, pocketing, narrow elastics and certain coated fabrics

·       Fixing the Kissell Amendment loophole

·       Stronger rules for customs enforcement

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) held a public hearing on November 15-16 in Washington, D.C. as part of its investigation of the likely impact of the USMCA on the U.S. economy.  Tantillo testified on Panel 4, General Manufacturing, on Friday, November 16, the hearing’s second day, in more detail about how USMCA is an improvement to NAFTA.

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 550,500 in 2017. 

·       The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $77.9 billion in 2017. 

·       U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $28.6 billion in 2017. 

·       Capital expenditures for textile and apparel production totaled $2.4 billion in 2016, the last year for which data is available.

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NCTO Testifies at U.S. International Trade Committee Hearing on USMCA

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) held a public hearing on November 15-16 in Washington, D.C. as part of its investigation of the likely impact of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) on the U.S. economy.

National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President & CEO Auggie Tantillo testified on Panel 4, General Manufacturing, on Friday, November 16, the hearing’s second day.

Tantillo’s testimony as prepared for delivery is below:

Testimony of Auggie Tantillo, President and CEO
National Council of Textile Organizations

U.S. International Trade Commission Hearing on the
United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement  

November 16, 2018

On behalf of the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), thank you for the opportunity to provide input regarding the recently negotiated United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).  NCTO represents the full spectrum of the U.S. textile sector, from fibers to yarns to fabrics to finished products, as well as suppliers of machinery, chemicals, and other products and services with a stake in the prosperity of our industry.  The entire U.S textile manufacturing chain, from fiber through finished sewn products, employs 550,000 workers nationwide.  In 2017, the industry manufactured nearly $78 billion in output, while exporting more than $28 billion of our production.

I want to preface my remarks by stating that NCTO has not yet adopted a formal position on USMCA.  We have produced a detailed internal analysis on the agreement for our members and have solicited their feedback.  Once we have reviewed input from our membership, the NCTO Board will come to final position that we will then make public.

With that said, it is important to note that the United States, Canada, and Mexico have built a vibrant and prosperous textile production chain over the 24-year life of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  In 2017, total textile and apparel trade between the three countries was approximately $20 billion.  U.S. exports accounted for more than $11 billion of this trade, with Canada and Mexico serving as our two largest export markets worldwide.

These figures compare to just $7 billion in textile trade between the three countries in 1993, the year prior to NAFTA’s implementation.  An understanding of this data validates that the current, yarn-forward structure embedded in NAFTA has been highly successful, providing significant benefit to North American manufacturers throughout the entire textile production chain.

It is for this reason that NCTO is very pleased that the basic textile origin rules adopted originally in NAFTA were essentially reaffirmed in USMCA.  Further, we commend the three governments for creating a separate textile chapter in the new agreement as opposed to relegating textiles to an annex of the broader market access provisions.  A stand-alone chapter recognizes the sensitivities associated with trade in this sector and allows for unique provisions, such as separate and enhanced customs enforcement language over the original NAFTA.  Enforcement is critical in the textile sector as the lucrative duty-free benefits create enormous incentives for fraud.

In terms of changes to the original text, NCTO is very supportive of revisions that will require the use of USMCA-origin sewing thread, pocketing, narrow elastics, and coated fabrics in certain end items.  While there are transition periods associated with these new requirements, their ultimate inclusion should offer a boost for U.S. producers formerly left out of the origin rules in the original NAFTA.  We estimate the USMCA market to be $250 million annually for sewing thread for apparel applications and $70 million annually for pocketing.

We are also appreciative of a key change made in the Government Procurement Chapter of USMCA regarding the Kissell Amendment, which is a Buy American statute for textiles that applies to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  Kissell requires 100% U.S. content, with very limited exceptions, for purchases by the Coast Guard and Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Regarding TSA procurement, Kissell has a problematic loophole tied to NAFTA that has allowed Mexico to supply these contracts.  As a result, under the terms of NAFTA, Mexico can supply TSA uniforms made from Mexican fiber, yarn, and/or fabric.  The TSA Mexico loophole translates to a significant weakening of U.S. Buy American statutes.  Noting that DHS spent $34 million on clothing and textiles for TSA in FY2017, closing the Kissell loophole was a substantive change from NCTO’s perspective.

While all the items mentioned to this point are clear improvements to the original NAFTA, there was one key area of disappointment, from our perspective, with USMCA.  NAFTA incorporated a major exemption to the yarn-forward origin requirement through a system of Tariff Preference Levels (TPLs). TPLs allow products to be shipped duty free among free trade partner countries even though the components within the product are sourced from countries that are not signatories to the agreement.

While NAFTA TPLs have annual limits that cap their impact to a degree, more than $641 million in textile and apparel TPL shipments entered the U.S. last year.  As such, eliminating the TPLs was a primary focus of NCTO’s in the NAFTA renegotiation.  While USMCA did reduce the size of some specific TPLs, the reductions will not cut into existing trade levels.  This outcome is frustrating given the President’s stated goals of increasing benefits for U.S. manufacturers and eliminating provisions that have helped non-signatory countries, such as China, take advantage of tariff preferences intended for North American producers.

Conclusion

As stated earlier, NCTO is not yet in a position to communicate a formal position on USMCA.  We hope to have a decision finalized soon, which will be shared with both the Administration and Congress as soon as we complete our review process.

Nonetheless, it is accurate to state that in an overarching fashion, the new agreement is an improvement over the original NAFTA in many areas.  This is certainly the case for U.S. manufacturers of component parts such as thread, pocketing, narrow elastics, and coated fabrics.  There is also a clear victory on the Kissell amendment and a strong upgrade in customs enforcement.  With our strong disappointment in the TPL outcome noted, we are also grateful for the Administration’s willingness to work with domestic manufacturers in an effort to improve this important agreement.

Thank you for this opportunity to provide input, and I would be pleased to answer any questions that you may have at this time.

[NCTO testimony as prepared for delivery ends]

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 550,500 in 2017.
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $77.9 billion in 2017.
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $28.6 billion in 2017.
  • Capital expenditures for textile and apparel production totaled $2.4 billion in 2016, the last year for which data is available.

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Large Gift to North Carolina State University’s Textile School Will Help Mold Next Generation of U.S. Textile Leaders and Innovators

WASHINGTON, DC – Thanks to a $28 million gift from alumnus Frederick “Fred” Eugene Wilson Jr. and his family, North Carolina State University’s College of Textiles henceforth will be known as the Wilson College of Textiles.  A world leader in textile research, the Wilson College of Textiles is the only standalone textile college in the United States.

“Thank you so very much to the Wilson family.  This gift is significant for the U.S. textile industry,” said National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) Chairman Marty Moran, CEO of Buhler Quality Yarns Corporation and a holder of a degree in textile management from North Carolina State University.

“As a fellow alumnus I’m proud and grateful to the Wilson family for giving back so selflessly to help others.  As the CEO of a textile company and as chairman of the largest Washington, DC-based trade association representing U.S. textiles, I’m excited because this gift will help mold the next generation of leaders and innovators,” Moran added as he noted more than fifty companies participated in the Wilson College of Textiles career fair on September 26.

“The Wilson family’s donation will benefit not just North Carolinians, but the entire U.S. textile supply chain,” stressed Moran as he explained NCTO and its member companies often work closely with Wilson College of Textiles faculty and students on everything from solving technical problems to innovating and manufacturing the fibers, yarns and fabrics of tomorrow.

NCTO President and CEO Auggie Tantillo said, “On behalf of NCTO’s entire membership, I want to express appreciation to the Wilson family for their very generous gift. Further, we are grateful to the Wilson College of Textiles for their continued dedication and invaluable contribution to 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 550,500 in 2017. 

·       The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $77.9 billion in 2017. 

·       U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $28.6 billion in 2017. 

·       Capital expenditures for textile and apparel production totaled $2.4 billion in 2016, the last year for which data is available.

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NCTO Welcomes United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Announcement

WASHINGTON, DC – The United States, Mexico and Canada have concluded negotiations on a trade agreement to replace NAFTA.  The text of the deal, now referred to as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, was released by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative last night. 

“The U.S. textile industry is pleased the United States, Mexico and Canada have reached an agreement because Canada and Mexico are its largest trading partners,” said National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President & CEO Auggie Tantillo as he noted that products from the textile and apparel supply chain accounted for nearly $12 billion in U.S. exports to Canada and Mexico in 2017. 

“Unlike the original NAFTA, the new agreement includes a separate textile and apparel chapter.  This outcome is a tangible recognition by all three parties of the importance of textile manufacturing to the regional economy,” Tantillo added as he explained that NCTO would not be making any further comment with respect to the deal until the substance of the agreement could be carefully analyzed by 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 550,500 in 2017. 

·       The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $77.9 billion in 2017. 

·       U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $28.6 billion in 2017. 

·       Capital expenditures for textile and apparel production totaled $2.4 billion in 2016, the last year for which data is available.

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NCTO Welcomes the Official Launch of the Rhode Island Textile Innovation Network

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) congratulates the state of Rhode Island and its textile and apparel industry for the official launch of the Rhode Island Textile Innovation Network (RITIN).  The Slater Mill Museum in Pawtucket was the site of the event.

At the launch, RITIN unveiled its new website and held an expo featuring local manufacturers.  The activities dovetailed with NCTO’s We Make Amazing campaign promoting the U.S. textile industry, namely that Rhode Island’s textile industry is involved in research, development, design and manufacturing of an incredible array of end products and providing career opportunities with on-the-job training and advancement.

“Rhode Island companies make some of the world’s most amazing textiles and are an important cog in the U.S. textile and apparel supply chain, especially with respect to innovating and manufacturing textiles used by America’s military,” said NCTO President & CEO Auggie Tantillo.

Welcoming the official launch of RITIN, Tantillo added, “Thanks to e-commerce and other emerging technologies, the global textile and apparel sector is experiencing an era of rapid change.  Rhode Island is to be commended for being proactive in helping to ensure that its industry remains at the forefront in leveraging those changes to America’s benefit,” Tantillo added.

RITIN fosters collaboration among textile industry leaders, designers, academia and government with a mission to make Rhode Island a leader in advanced textile manufacturing and to develop solutions to recruit and train the sector’s future workforce.

Created in late 2016 by U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and the University of Rhode Island Business Engagement Center, RITIN operates with planning grants received in late 2017 from Real Jobs RI and the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation.   Polaris MEP, an affiliate of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST MEP) provides RITIN’s program management.

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 550,500 in 2017.
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $77.9 billion in 2017.
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $28.6 billion in 2017.
  • Capital expenditures for textile and apparel production totaled $2.4 billion in 2016, the last year for which data is available.

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NCTO Applauds Trump Administration 301 Tariffs; Calls to Include Textile and Apparel End Products in Future Actions

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Council of Textile Organization’s (NCTO) praised the Trump administration’s announcement imposing Section 301 tariffs on China in response to China’s unfair trade practices related to the forced transfer of American technology and intellectual property. NCTO also called on the Trump administration to include finished textile and apparel products on any future lists of imports from China to be made subject to Section 301 tariffs.

“The Trump administration is to be commended for taking decisive action against China’s unfair trade practices.  Section 301 tariffs deter trade cheats,” said NCTO President & CEO Auggie Tantillo. 

“As per our recommendation, NCTO is pleased that almost all textile machinery products were removed from the final list of tariff lines subject to immediate 301 duties because tariffs on textile machinery hinder the competitiveness of U.S. textile manufacturers,” Tantillo continued.

“While appreciative of today’s actions, NCTO is convinced that the Trump administration’s efforts to deter China’s unfair trade practices would be even more effective if textile and apparel end products from China were made subject to Section 301 tariffs,” Tantillo said as he referred to NCTO’s China 301 public comments filed on May 11. 

Noting that the Trump administration proposed an additional list of Chinese products for Section 301 tariffs as part of today’s announcement, Tantillo concluded, “NCTO is pleased that some textile products are on the second list.  It would have a greater deterring effect, however, if more textile and apparel end products were included.  As such, NCTO looks forward to working closely with the Trump administration to refine it.”

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 550,500 in 2017. 

·       The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $77.9 billion in 2017. 

·       U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $28.6 billion in 2017. 

·       Capital expenditures for textile and apparel production totaled $2.4 billion in 2016, the last year for which data is available.

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Why NCTO Launched Textiles in the News

by Auggie Tantillo

The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) is pleased to announce the launch of Textiles in the News (TIN), a new website promoting the U.S. textile industry.  The website’s URL is http://www.textilesinthenews.org.

As part of NCTO’s American Textiles: We Make Amazing™ public relations effort, TIN’s mission is to showcase the dynamism of the U.S. textile industry and cover the policy issues that disproportionately impact the sector through:

  • Linking to the most relevant news and opinion pieces produced by other media outlets about or affecting the U.S. textile industry
  • Generating original content, including news and opinion from U.S. textile industry leaders and policy experts
  • Tracking U.S. textile industry social media posts

While some may have an outdated perception of the U.S. textile industry, those working in the sector know it is a global powerhouse.

From fiber to finished product, the U.S. textile supply chain accounted for 550,500 jobs and $28.6 billion in exports in 2017.  The value of shipments for man-made fiber, yarns, fabrics, apparel and non-apparel sewn products was almost $78 billion last year.  Capital investment in U.S. textiles and apparel totaled $2.4 billion in 2016, the latest year for which information is available.  Moreover, the United States is a world leader in textile innovation.

As a national trade association representing domestic textile manufacturers, NCTO wants to make sure policymakers, business leaders, journalists, prospective workforce entrants and others have greater awareness of these facts.  This is the rationale behind creating TIN.

Every day trade press and international, national and local media outlets are posting compelling content about amazing things the U.S. textile industry is doing.  TIN seeks to make it convenient to find and track news and opinion on plant expansions, new products, innovation and policy issues important to the textile supply chain.

The launch of this new site comes during exciting and challenging times for the U.S. textile industry.  President Trump has made the reshoring of manufacturing a priority, giving the American textile sector its first real opportunity in a generation to level the playing field against unfair trade practices from abroad.

Growing e-commerce is reconfiguring the retail sector, a trend that encourages a buy it, make it, ship it production model.  Combined with low U.S. energy costs and advances in automating garment and sewn product assembly, possibilities for shifting some textile-related supply chains back to the United States and the Western Hemisphere from Asia are becoming increasingly promising.

Smart textiles are revolutionizing the industry, opening doors for applications beyond fashion, insulation or covering material.  Thanks to the rapid commercialization of innovations, a day is coming soon where textiles that harvest and store energy, display information, transmit sound and data, monitor health, protect against microbes and infection, repel insects and/or change colors will be commonplace in the market.

Finally, the U.S. textile industry is pushing forward on sustainability.  Many companies have set the goal of waste-free or near waste-free manufacturing, and more and more textile products are being designed with a circular lifecycle in mind.

In sum, NCTO’s Textiles in the News website is designed to make these exciting and informative developments easy to access and digest. For those interested in U.S. textiles, and the extremely positive and pervasive impact our industry is making to better our lives, please visit TIN.  NCTO trusts you will find the website compelling and informative.  To the media, please keep generating great stories on the modern U.S. textile industry.  NCTO is excited to drive readers to that content!

Auggie Tantillo is President & CEO of the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), a Washington, D.C.-based trade association representing domestic textile manufacturers.  

NCTO’s TIN website was built by AS Creative Services, a Rockville, MD-based web design firm and its newsfeed is powered by Meltwater, a leading international provider of Media Intelligence.

 

U.S. Textile, Fiber Trade Associations Announce Merger

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) and the American Fiber Manufacturers Association (AFMA) announced a merger of their respective organizations effective April 1, 2018.

NCTO Chairman William V. “Bill” McCrary Jr., Chairman & CEO, William Barnet & Son, Spartanburg, S.C. said, “The NCTO merger with AFMA strengthens the U.S. textile industry’s ability to influence federal policy.  It brings new members and financial resources to NCTO and extends the organization’s political reach.”

“It also cements NCTO’s status as the voice of every facet of the U.S. textile production chain, a fact that will help NCTO to more effectively influence federal policies that affect U.S. textile investment, production and workers,” McCrary added.

AFMA Chairman Mark Ruday, Senior Vice President, DAK Americas, Charlotte, N.C. said, “AFMA’s merger with NCTO will allow U.S. fiber producers to keep the sector’s seat at the federal policy table.”

“As a multi-billion industry with tens of thousands of employees, it is critical that the U.S. man-made fiber sector stay engaged in Washington,” Ruday continued.

Noting that NCTO constantly monitors and engages in all major textile policy matters that impact the entire production chain, including key international trade negotiations, congressional initiatives and federal procurement and regulatory matters, Ruday said, “Merging with NCTO will ensure the U.S. fiber manufacturers have an effective voice on policy matters affecting the sector.”

The merged organization will be called by the name National Council of Textile Organizations, and NCTO President & CEO Auggie Tantillo will continue in that position.

NCTO is a Washington, DC-based trade association representing the U.S. textile industry.

Four councils, Fiber, Yarn, Fabric & Home Furnishings, and Industry Support comprise NCTO’s leadership structure.  Each represents a major sector of the U.S. supply chain and elects its own officers who make up NCTO’s board of directors.

AFMA is an Arlington, Va.-based trade association representing U.S. companies that manufacture synthetic and cellulosic fibers.

  • U.S. employment in the textile supply chain was 550,500 in 2017.
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $77.9 billion last year, a 16% increase since 2009.
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $28.6 billion in 2015.
  • Capital expenditures for textile and apparel production totaled $2.4 billion in 2016, the last year for which data is available.

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Textile Industry Praises Trump China NME Decision, Urges Aggressive Trade Enforcement

WASHINGTON, DC — With President Donald Trump headed to Asia this November 3-14 to visit Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines, the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) praised the Trump administration’s recent determination reaffirming China’s non-market economy status for antidumping purposes and called for even more aggressive U.S. enforcement to crack down on unfair trade practices.

“The evidence could support no other decision,” said NCTO President & CEO Auggie Tantillo as NCTO concurred with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s exhaustively researched determination that China is still a non-market economy.

Tantillo added, “Properly defining China as a non-market economy simply confirms what every U.S. manufacturer already understands — China has a set of unfair and extraordinary advantages that allow them to displace investment, production and employment in our market.”

“We encourage President Trump to use his trip to Asia to reaffirm his commitment to enforcing America’s trade laws fairly, but resolutely,” Tantillo continued, pointing to public comments filed by NCTO[1] suggesting additional reasonable activities the U.S. government could undertake to improve trade enforcement, thereby creating more good jobs.

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

  • U.S. employment in the textile supply chain was 565,000 in 2016.
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $74.4 billion last year, a nearly 11% increase since 2009.
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $26.3 billion in 2016.
  • Capital expenditures for textile and apparel production totaled $2 billion in 2015, the last year for which data is available.
  • NCTO is also a member of Manufacturers for Trade Enforcement, a multi-industry coalition supporting the continued designation of China as a non-market economy.

[1] See page 12.

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NCTO Statement on Passing of Mark Kent, CEO of KENTWOOL

WASHINGTON, DC – Mark Kent, CEO of Greenville, South Carolina-based KENTWOOL, an innovative producer of wool yarn, hosiery and other textile products, died on September 24. He was 55.

Reacting to Kent’s death, National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President & CEO Auggie Tantillo said, “Mark’s unexpected passing is another severe and tragic blow for the U.S. textile industry. He was an expert in his field who cared deeply for his workers and the communities that relied on KENTWOOL to provide employment and investment.”

“From a national policy standpoint, Mark’s insight and direction on issues impacting the U.S. wool textile sector will be especially missed.”

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

  • U.S. employment in the textile supply chain was 565,000 in 2016.
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $74.4 billion last year, a nearly 11% increase since 2009.
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $26.3 billion in 2016.
  • Capital expenditures for textile and apparel production totaled $2 billion in 2015, the last year for which data is available.

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