NCTO Sends Letter to Senate Finance Committee in Support of Katherine Tai Nomination as U.S. Trade Representative

WASHINGTON– National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President and CEO Kim Glas sent a letter to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-ID) today, voicing strong support for Katherine Tai’s nomination to serve as the next United States Trade Representative (USTR).

“Undoubtedly, this important office should be occupied by someone of unquestioned integrity who is not only an expert in international trade policy but an individual who also possesses a keen understanding of the unique challenges confronting domestic manufacturers and U.S. workers under the international trading system. Katherine Tai has demonstrated all these important qualities over her distinguished career,” Glas said in the letter.

“We believe she is an exceptional candidate to serve as the next USTR and are pleased to lend our strongest level of support to her nomination.  Further, we urge the committee to quickly advance her confirmation to the Senate floor so that Ms. Tai can formally begin her important responsibilities as expeditiously as possible.”

The Senate Finance Committee has scheduled a hearing on Katherine Tai’s nomination for February 25.

See the full letter here.

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NCTO is a Washington, DC-based trade association that represents domestic textile manufacturers, including artificial and synthetic filament and fiber producers.

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

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Kristi Ellis

Vice President, Communications

National Council of Textile Organizations

kellis@ncto.org  |  202.684.3091

NCTO President & CEO Kim Glas Op-Ed on PPE

WASHINGTON— In an Op-Ed published by Morning Consult today, National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President & CEO Kim Glas, outlines critical steps the Biden administration and Congress can take to help revitalize American PPE manufacturing and help our front-line workers.

Please see the Op-Ed here.

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NCTO is a Washington, DC-based trade association that represents domestic textile manufacturers, including artificial and synthetic filament and fiber producers.

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

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Kristi Ellis

Vice President, Communications

National Council of Textile Organizations

kellis@ncto.org  |  202.684.3091

INDUSTRY AND UNION COALITION OUTLINES POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS IN LETTERS TO PRESIDENT BIDEN, CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS

WASHINGTON—A broad coalition of industry organizations and labor unions, representing a broad spectrum of manufacturers and workers who stepped up to make essential PPE and other products throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, sent a letter today to President Biden and congressional leaders outlining recommendations on specific policy initiatives that must be adopted to re-establish a permanent PPE industry in the United States.

As noted in the joint letter (See a link to the full letters below):

“The heroic efforts of the U.S. textile industry and its exemplary workforce throughout this crisis clearly demonstrate that domestic industry has the technical capabilities and capacity to make the United States self-sufficient in terms of our national PPE needs. However, the permanence of this [industry] is dependent on the development of government policies designed to help domestic manufacturers survive the current economic crisis and incentivize the long-term investment needed to bring PPE production back onshore. If appropriate policies are not implemented, the valuable and substantial progress made over the past year to onshore a vibrant PPE industry will evaporate in the face of China’s global manufacturing dominance in the PPE sector.”

The associations are requesting that President Biden and Congress adopt the policy recommendations outlined in the letter through legislation, executive order and other appropriate means.

The coalition sent a letter to President Biden and a second letter to Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) outlining these requests.

See the full letters here:

Industry Labor Letter COVID Relief to Congress

Industry Labor Letter COVID Relief to President Biden

The letters were signed by the following organizations. Please see relevant contacts where provided:

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MAIN PRESS CONTACT:

NCTO

Kristi Ellis

(202) 281-9305

kellis@ncto.org

Coalition for a Prosperous America

Melissa Tallman, (202) 688-5145 ext. 3

melissa@prosperousamerica.org

National Cotton Council

Marjory L. Walker, (901) 274-9030

mwalker@cotton.org

Rhode Island Textile Innovation Network

Michael M. Woody, (401) 331-8483

michael@trans-texinc.com

SEAMS: Association of the U.S. Sewn Products Industry

Will Duncan, (803) 642-1111

wduncan@seams.org

SPESA

Marie D’Avignon, (919)872-8909

marie@spesa.org

Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition

David Costello, (617) 875-2492

david.costello@warriorprotection.net

NCTO ISSUES STATEMENT ON PRESIDENT BIDEN’S “MADE IN AMERICA” EXECUTIVE ORDER AND LAUNCHES VIDEO CAMPAIGN IN SUPPORT OF STRENGTHENING AMERICAN MANUFACTURING

WASHINGTON— National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President and CEO Kim Glas issued a statement today on the White House announcement that President Biden will sign an executive order today, “ensuring the future of America is Made in America by all of America’s workers.”  Further, NCTO launched a new industry video campaign today that outlines steps the Biden administration and Congress must take to re-shore the production of personal protective equipment (PPE) and the entire supply chain for critical products. The video can be found here: MakeAmericanPPE.

National Council of Textile Organizations President and CEO Kim Glas said:

“We commend President Biden for taking action in his first days in office to strengthen our domestic supply chain and manufacturing base with a “Made in America” executive order directing the federal government to spend taxpayer dollars on American-made goods produced by American workers using American-made components.

Increasing the domestic procurement threshold and the price preferences for domestic goods under the current Buy American law will bolster domestic production and stimulate more investment in U.S. manufacturing.

We believe it is critical that taxpayer dollars are used to invest in American manufacturing and our workforce.  It is essential that we close loopholes in our Buy America laws, expand application and product coverage of domestic content rules, and close unnecessary contract waivers that undermine American manufacturing and its workforce.

We look forward to working with the Biden administration and Congress on immediately strengthening our domestic procurement laws.  The COVID-19 crisis was exacerbated when foreign supply chains broke down leaving our frontline workers vulnerable, underscoring the vital need for America to manufacture essential medical products at home.  We look forward to working with the Biden administration on implementing this Executive Order, and with members of Congress to push critical bipartisan legislation to help ensure this onshoring effort is fully realized.

We also sincerely thank Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Representative Kathy Manning (D-NC) for their leadership in sending a recent letter to President Biden, requesting the president prioritize “Made in America” personal protective equipment (PPE) purchases and outlining key steps the administration can take to produce and procure quality American-made PPE for frontline workers.” (Please see the Press Release).

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NCTO is a Washington, DC-based trade association that represents domestic textile manufacturers, including artificial and synthetic filament and fiber producers.

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

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Kristi Ellis

Vice President, Communications

National Council of Textile Organizations

kellis@ncto.org  |  202.684.3091

NCTO Welcomes President Biden’s COVID-19 Action Plan and Executive Order Directing Federal Agencies to Utilize the Defense Production Act (DPA) for Critical Medical Supplies

WASHINGTON– National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President and CEO Kim Glas issued a statement today welcoming President Biden’s action plan and COVID-19 response, accompanied by a series of executive orders, including an order signed today to strengthen U.S. supply chains by directing federal agencies to use the Defense Production Act (DPA) to address shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) and related vaccine supplies.

“We are closely reviewing President Biden’s national strategic plan to confront the pandemic and welcome the executive order signed today to strengthen our supply chains by directing all federal agencies to use the Defense Production Act to address shortages of personal protective equipment, vaccine supplies and essential products. These are important steps that will help ramp up critical manufacturing of these essential PPE products and other critically needed supplies like tests and vaccines.”

American manufacturers have been at the forefront of the effort to build a domestic PPE supply chain since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The U.S. textile industry retooled production and operations virtually overnight, producing millions of face masks, isolation gowns, testing swabs and other critical medical textiles.

Our industry is dedicated to making significant investments in automated equipment for PPE, but the industry needs long-term, multiyear contracts to help realize that investment.

The deployment of DPA is one of the critical tools that will help incentivize investment in equipment, propel the hiring of U.S. workers and expand these critical production chains.

Since its inception, the DPA has been utilized by the Department of Defense to make critical investments in domestic textile manufacturing infrastructure and capacity, creating private-public partnerships through the government’s capital investments under the DPA and guaranteeing purchases through long-term contracts.

We applaud President Biden’s action today and anticipate further steps including a reported order that will seek to strengthen government procurement of U.S. products in the coming days. We appreciate President Biden outlining the “National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness” a series of actions and steps the administration will undertake to deploy and manufacture the vaccine and other essential products.

Our industry has outlined critical steps that are necessary to strengthen the U.S. supply chain for essential products here. We look forward to working with this administration and members of Congress to push legislation that will help bring these critical supply chains onshore permanently.

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NCTO is a Washington, DC-based trade association that represents domestic textile manufacturers, including artificial and synthetic filament and fiber producers.

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

DOWNLOAD RELEASE

Kristi Ellis

Vice President, Communications

National Council of Textile Organizations

kellis@ncto.org  |  202.684.3091

NCTO Welcomes Expected Nomination of Katherine Tai as new U.S. Trade Representative

WASHINGTON, D.C. —National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President and CEO Kim Glas, representing the full spectrum of U.S. textiles from fiber through finished sewn products, issued a statement today welcoming the reported selection of the House Ways and Means Committee’s Chief Trade Counsel, Katherine Tai, as the next U.S. Trade Representative.

“We applaud President-elect Joe Biden’s expected nomination of the House Ways and Means Committee’s Chief Trade Counsel, Katherine Tai, as the next U.S. Trade Representative. This selection is welcome news to the U.S. textile industry, which has worked closely with Katherine on several critical trade issues over the years.  She is an exceptional candidate to serve as the next USTR, having dedicated her career to enforcing our trade laws, and, most recently, serving as a key lead negotiator in the House securing key improvements in the USMCA agreement.

She will be a powerful and thoughtful advocate on behalf of American workers and our environment.  The U.S. textile industry looks forward to working with her on our top trade priorities.”

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NCTO is a Washington, DC-based trade association that represents domestic textile manufacturers, including artificial and synthetic filament and fiber producers.

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

DOWNLOAD RELEASE

CONTACT:

Kristi Ellis

Vice President, Communications

National Council of Textile Organizations

kellis@ncto.org  |  202.684.3091

NCTO Welcomes House passage of NDAA Conference Report; Urges Swift Senate Passage

WASHINGTON DC —The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), representing the full spectrum of U.S. textiles from fiber through finished sewn products, welcomes House passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of Fiscal Year 2021.

“We applaud the House of Representatives for passing the NDAA, a bill that will strengthen the Berry Amendment, which supports tens of thousands of jobs in the U.S. textile industry and other manufacturing sectors,” said NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas. “We also extend special thanks to Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) and Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), co-chairs of the House Textile Caucus, for their leadership and support of this important provision.”

The NDAA bill rolls back the threshold for Berry compliance requirements and Defense Department acquisitions to $150,000 and adjusts future increases for inflation, which the U.S. textile industry has long supported.

In the Fiscal Year 2018 NDAA bill, Congress raised the Simplified Acquisition Threshold (SAT) to $250,000–a higher threshold that put more than $50 million worth of Berry contracts annually at risk of being outsourced to China and other foreign countries. As the SAT increases, the incentive for sourcing textiles, apparel and footwear abroad grows. (See a broad industry coalition letter sent in September to the chairman and ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee.)

Resetting the contracting threshold back to $150,000 in the new NDAA bill ensures that tens of millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars will be spent here at home on quality goods manufactured by U.S. workers from U.S. materials.

The Senate is likely to pass the bill shortly. It will then go to the president for his signature.

“Berry ensures our warfighters and military personnel are wearing high-quality,100% Made-in-America textile and apparel products, including mission critical personal protective gear,” Glas added. “It also helps maintain America’s warm industrial base and safeguards our national security from unreliable foreign supply chains in China and other countries for essential military materials. We urge the Senate to swiftly approve the report and President Trump to sign it into law.”

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NCTO is a Washington, DC-based trade association that represents domestic textile manufacturers, including artificial and synthetic filament and fiber producers.

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

DOWNLOAD RELEASE

CONTACT:

Kristi Ellis

Vice President, Communications

National Council of Textile Organizations

kellis@ncto.org  |  202.684.3091

NCTO Outlines Key Priorities for the Incoming Biden Administration and Congress to Strengthen the U.S. Supply Chain for Essential Products

WASHINGTON — National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President and CEO Kim Glas issued a statement today outlining immediate steps President-elect Joe Biden’s administration and a new Congress can take to bolster the U.S. manufacturing sector.  As President-elect Biden has named several key members of his economic team in recent days, the U.S. textile industry stands ready to work with this critical team.  NCTO is also eager to work with the new Congress on advancing these bipartisan priorities.

The U.S. textile industry looks forward to working with President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team and his administration to provide input on key policies outlined in the campaign to prioritize investing in American manufacturing and its workforce, onshoring critical supply chains, and cracking down on the predatory trade practices that have harmed the manufacturing sector and U.S. jobs.  We agree with the President-elect that we must not revert to status quo trade policies that have undermined our nation’s resilience and exacerbated income inequality by impacting the manufacturing sector and promoting a race to the bottom that have especially hurt the nearly two-thirds of the American workforce without college degrees.

As domestic manufacturers, the U.S. textile industry fully supports the President-elect’s campaign pledge to strengthen ‘Buy American’ rules and invest in government purchases of American-made products.  It is imperative that we strengthen the domestic personal protective equipment (PPE) supply chain to achieve a long-term goal of ending our over-reliance on China and begin onshoring the production of critical medical textiles.  We look forward to working with the President-elect and his team to strengthen and maintain these supply chains, which is a paramount national and healthcare security issue. Further, we are prepared to engage with leaders in Congress to enact bipartisan legislation to ensure we can make the long-term investments needed to fully bring critical PPE production back to the United States.

The COVID-19 crisis has made clear to Democrats and Republicans alike that our past trade policies have left the United States too reliant on imports of essential goods.  Our national trade and economic agenda must put American manufacturing workers at the center.  President-elect Biden has committed to taking on China and other countries that utilize predatory trade and economic tactics that have hurt domestic manufacturers and we welcome that call.

There are four immediate steps the Biden administration can take in the first months in office to help boost investment in the U.S. textile industry and onshore critical PPE supply chains.

Expand Investment in American-Made PPE: We strongly endorse President-elect Biden’s plan to bolster the industrial base through strong Buy American proposals.  The Berry Amendment, a domestic procurement law that governs purchases by the Defense Department, has been an essential tool of national security policy to ensure our warfighters and military personnel are wearing 100% Made-in-America product and that we are not relying on foreign supply chains from China and elsewhere to supply critical military materials.  Our healthcare workers are on the front lines and we need to ensure that the products they are wearing are made in America and that they meet the critical performance requirements of the healthcare setting.  Regrettably, our overreliance on China for these essential products failed to meet our needs during a time of crisis.  That can never happen again; we must onshore and diversify these critical supply chains moving forward.

Expanding the Berry Amendment to federal purchases of PPE is a central element of pending bipartisan legislation known as The American PPE Supply Chain Integrity Act, which should be adopted.  In addition, we urge the federal government to deploy long-term federal contracts for PPE to spur investment and create jobs in the U.S., a key element of separate pending bipartisan legislation named the Make PPE in America Act.  Lastly, we believe we must utilize tax incentives to help promote the domestic manufacturing industrial base and U.S. manufacturing jobs.

Appoint a High-Level COVID-19 Coordinating Supply Chain Team:  In order to help ensure industry is meeting federal government needs and priorities, it is critical that the U.S. textile industry and PPE producers have a high level of communication and coordination with key officials across all the government agencies procuring medical PPE.  Establishing a key point person and team is critical to ensure the necessary collaboration to help industry and government respond quickly and effectively to national, state and local PPE needs.  A high-level team comprised of experts committed to U.S. manufacturing is vitally important in advancing both short-term needs and long-term supply chain efforts.  As such, we are prepared to do our part in developing a streamlined, high-level coordination structure that ensures that the contracting process yields timely acquisition of quality U.S.-made PPE and other medical items.

Continue to Support Tariffs and Strong Trade Enforcement: We also appreciate President-elect Biden’s pledge to continue aggressive trade enforcement actions against China, along with his willingness to work long-term with international coalitions to comprehensively address systemic predatory trade practices.  For far too long, our industry, like so many others in the manufacturing sector, has been hindered by predatory trade practices.  The U.S. textile industry is highly automated and is proud to compete with anyone in the world on a level and fair playing field.  But the rules of the road are not always abided by or fair – and, regrettably, the U.S. textile industry has far too often faced that sobering reality.  This is why aggressive enforcement actions, including continuing punitive tariffs on finished products, is critical to getting the Chinese to address systemic unfair trade advantages, such as government subsidies, state-owned enterprises, forced labor practices, weak environmental standards, intellectual property theft and currency manipulation that non-market economies use to manipulate global markets and hurt U.S. producers.  Punitive tariffs coupled with other enforcement mechanisms are also necessary to increase negotiating leverage to address these larger systemic issues.  We need to appropriately punish countries that engage in unfair and illegal practices while rewarding companies that invest in the United States for critical materials like PPE, and work to further strengthen our alliances with our existing free trade agreement and trade preference partner countries.

Provide Targeted Stimulus to U.S. Manufacturers and Workers: The unprecedented reduction in consumer demand since the onset of COVID-19 has significantly hurt the U.S. textile industry and other key manufacturing sectors of the economy.  It is critical that the textile industry and other impacted manufacturing sectors and their workforce have access to critical support like the Paycheck Protection Program.  Additionally, this program should be expanded to ensure more medium-sized manufacturers that have made PPE have the opportunity to participate.  A robust manufacturing stimulus will help stabilize the industry and lead to critical domestic job growth in this important sector and we urge Congress and the administration to come together to implement a plan as soon as possible.

We look forward to working with President-elect Biden and the new Congress and their teams on implementing these key immediate priorities in the days ahead.

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NCTO is a Washington, DC-based trade association that represents domestic textile manufacturers, including artificial and synthetic filament and fiber producers.

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

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CONTACT:

Kristi Ellis

Vice President, Communications

National Council of Textile Organizations

kellis@ncto.org  |  202.684.3091

NCTO Supports House Resolution Opposing Expansion of Generalized System of Preferences Program (GSP) to Include Apparel, Textiles, Footwear

WASHINGTON, DC –The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), representing the full spectrum of U.S. textiles, from fiber to finished sewn products, voiced strong support for a House resolution opposing the inclusion of apparel, textile and footwear products in the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program.

“I want to thank Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ) and Congressman Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-CA) and Congressman Mario  Diaz-Balart (R-FL) for introducing this important resolution, which expressly opposes the expansion of GSP to include apparel, textiles and footwear. Such a move would not only jeopardize the U.S. textile industry but also erode the critically negotiated trade preferences between the United States and our trading partners,” said NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas.

“In designing the GSP program 45 years ago, Congress intentionally excluded import-sensitive items to prevent domestic industries from being adversely impacted.

“An expansion of GSP for such imported products would put at risk the entire U.S. apparel and textile industry and its workforce – not to mention its $77 billion in annual output, $30 billion in annual exports and $20 billion in investment over the last decade,” Glas said.

“Further, it would undermine our free trade agreements in the Western Hemisphere, a critical export market for U.S. textiles that supports two million direct jobs. The Western Hemisphere accounts for 70 percent of apparel and textile exports and $35 million in two-way trade. We can’t thank all of the co-sponsors enough for their tremendous leadership on this issue and we support this critical resolution.

The resolution underscores how expanding GSP would impact Western Hemisphere trade and undermine trade preference benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).”

Please view the full resolution here.

To see NCTO’s position on GSP, please see our Op-Ed here.

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NCTO is a Washington, DC-based trade association that represents domestic textile manufacturers, including artificial and synthetic filament and fiber producers.

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

DOWNLOAD RELEASE

CONTACT: Kristi Ellis

(202) 684-3091

www.ncto.org