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.”

###

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.

###

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 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.

###

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

NCTO Welcomes Administration’s Section 301 Investigation into Vietnam’s Currency Practices

WASHINGTON—The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), representing the full spectrum of U.S. textiles, from fiber through finished sewn products, welcomes the Trump administration’s recent announcement of the launch of a Section 301 investigation into the currency valuation practices of Vietnam.

“NCTO strongly opposes foreign governments undervaluing their currencies, which puts U.S. manufacturers at a disadvantage by inflating the cost of U.S. exports and deflating the cost of U.S. imports.  This unfair trade practice displaces U.S. production and jobs, as well as those of our Western Hemisphere trade partners utilizing U.S. textile inputs,” said NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas.

“The U.S.-Vietnam trading relationship suffers from many of the same problems that we have experienced with China. There are strong indications of a purposefully undervalued currency that warrants a full investigation.  Further, the industries in the two countries are inextricably linked, as Vietnam sources much of its textile inputs from China,” Glas added.

In 2019, the U.S. trade deficit with Vietnam stood at $55.8 billion, including a $14.6 billion deficit in textiles and apparel specifically.  Vietnam has demonstrated tremendous growth in the U.S. textile and apparel market and is the second largest supplier after China, holding a 15.8% import market share for January-July 2020.

“Scrutinizing unfair practices such as currency undervaluation by Vietnam is one more action the administration can take to eliminate predatory trade practices by countries that continuously undermine domestic production and that of our free trade partners.  Strong trade enforcement is key to leveling the playing field.

With so much discussion about onshoring production, including personal protective equipment (PPE), we believe this investigation is necessary, and we look forward to further opportunities to provide input as part of the formal investigation process.”

###

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 President & CEO Kim Glas Testifies at U.S. International Trade Commission Hearing on Challenges Related to U.S. PPE Production

WASHINGTON, DC –The U.S. International Trade Commission held a public hearing on September 23-24 as part of its investigation of conditions impacting U.S. industry sectors and supply chains in the production of medical goods related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President & CEO Kim Glas is testifying on panel 5 today, the hearing’s second day.

“Amid the devastating challenges of responding to COVID-19, NCTO members have been at the forefront of deploying manufacturing resources to address the critical need for personal protective equipment (PPE),” Glas said in testimony prepared for delivery.  “Our members quickly mobilized, proactively retooling production lines and retraining workers to provide U.S.-made PPE to frontline medical workers.”

“Despite these heroic efforts to confront the ongoing crisis, the onshoring of a permanent PPE industry will only materialize if proper government policies are implemented to incentivize the long-term investment needed to sustain PPE production in the United States,” Glas said.

Glas’ testimony as prepared for delivery can be found here.

 

###

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.

DOWNLOAD RELEASE

CONTACT: Kristi Ellis

(202) 684-3091

www.ncto.org

NCTO Launches Video Campaign Showcasing Textile Industry Response to PPE Crisis

WASHINGTON—The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), representing the full spectrum of U.S. textiles, from fiber through finished sewn products, launched a paid social media video campaign today, highlighting the extraordinary efforts the industry has taken to respond to the shortages of lifesaving personal protective equipment (PPE) spawned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“NCTO is launching a social media and email campaign today to show members of Congress how this industry has significantly contributed to the nation’s PPE crisis, while demonstrating the importance of immediate policies and legislation, such as Buy American mandates, to establish a sustainable domestic supply chain for the future,” said NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas.

“Our campaign underscores the importance of ending our over reliance on China for PPE and calls on Congress to craft policies that support domestic procurement requirements and the onshoring of jobs,” Glas added. “It is high time we had a national strategic plan in place to spur investment in the industry and ensure our country has a permanent domestic PPE supply chain to confront the next pandemic our country faces.”

To view the video, textile worker profiles and Call to Action for members of Congress, and their staff, and manufacturers and employees, please click here.

###

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.

DOWLOAD RELEASE

CONTACT:

Kristi Ellis

Vice President, Communications

National Council of Textile Organizations

kellis@ncto.org  |  202.684.3091

NCTO Sends Letter to Lead House & Senate Committee Members in Support of Congressional Action Addressing Forced Labor in China

WASHINGTON—The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), representing the full spectrum of U.S. textiles, from fiber though finished sewn products, sent a letter to the chairs and ranking members of the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee today, in support of congressional efforts to address China’s use of forced labor.

The House Ways and Means Committee’s Subcommittee on Trade is holding a hearing today at noon on this important issue.

NCTO sent the letter to House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) and Ranking member Kevin Brady (R-Texas), Senate Finance Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)

See the full letter here.

###

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

 

National Council of Textile Organizations and National Cotton Council Send Letter to Lead House & Senate Committee Members in Support of CBTPA

WASHINGTON—The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) and National Cotton Council (NCC)  sent a letter today to the chairs and ranking members of two key congressional committees today, voicing support for a timely  extension of the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA), which expires on Sept. 30.  The House Ways and Means Committee’s Subcommittee on Trade is holding a hearing on Thursday at 2:00 PM on this important trade preference program.

The CBTPA has provided a structured system of textile and apparel duty preferences for certain countries– most notably Haiti– since it was implemented in 2000. U.S. textile and cotton industries see significant benefits from the program, which has helped establish an export market for U.S.-grown cotton, U.S.-spun yarn and other textile materials of U.S. origin.

The U.S. content rule contained in CBTPA provides a mutual benefit to the U.S. industry and the Caribbean Basin region economies.

The associations’ support is contingent upon the trade program not being tied to other unrelated and harmful trade and tariff provisions as noted in their joint letter.

The NCTO and NCC sent the letter to House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) and Ranking member Kevin Brady (R-Texas), Senate Finance Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)

See the full letter here.

###

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.

As the unifying force of the U.S. cotton industry, the Memphis-based National Cotton Council has a mission of ensuring the ability of all industry segments to compete effectively and profitably in the raw cotton, oilseed and U.S.-manufactured product markets at home and abroad.

 

DOWNLOAD RELEASE

 

PRESS CONTACTS:

National Council of Textile Organizations

Kristi Ellis

kellis@ncto.org  |  202.684.3091

 

National Cotton Council

Marjory L. Walker

mwalker@cotton.org (901) 274-9030

 

 

NCTO President & CEO Kim Glas Testifies at House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee Hearing on COVID-19 Crisis

WASHINGTON, DC – National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President and CEO Kim Glas is testifying today at the House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee hearing on “Manufacturing and Critical Supply Chains: Lessons From COVID-19.”

“While domestic textile manufacturers have undertaken heroic efforts to confront the ongoing crisis, the onshoring of a permanent PPE industry will only materialize if proper government policies and other actions are put in place to help domestic manufacturers survive the current economic crisis and to incentivize the long-term investment needed to fully bring PPE production back to the United States,” Glas said in testimony submitted to the subcommittee found here.

Glas outlined policy recommendations and concrete steps the government should take to address the long-term and short-term needs of frontline health care workers, patients and the general public.

“The time is ripe for a revival of American PPE textile manufacturing. It has already begun, but we are at a pivotal point. Without the necessary policy response and support, our recent progress will be undone just as quickly, and the China stranglehold over global medical textile supply will be locked in for the foreseeable future with no reason to invest here,” Glas said.

“The U.S. textile and apparel industry is ready, willing, and able to supply our country’s PPE needs now and for what lies ahead,” she added.

###

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