NCTO Draws Up 4-Point Agenda To Boost T&C Sector

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National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President and CEO Kim Glas issued a statement outlining immediate steps President-elect Joe Biden’s administration and a new Congress can take to bolster the US manufacturing sector.

As domestic manufacturers, the US textile industry fully supports the President-elect’s campaign pledge to strengthen ‘Buy American’ rules and invest in government purchases of American-made products. Said Glas, “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.  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 NCTO has outlined four immediate steps the Biden administration can take in the first months in office to help boost investment in the US textile industry and onshore critical PPE supply chains.

Expand investment in American – made PPE
The NCTO has endorsed 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 ensured 100% US procurement for US defence forces. NCTO wants a similar position for US healthworkers, instead of being overly reliant on China and other suppliers.

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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. NCTO has urged the federal government to deploy long-term federal contracts for PPE to spur investment and create jobs in the US, a key element of separate pending bipartisan legislation named the Make PPE in America Act.

“We believe we must utilise tax incentives to help promote the domestic manufacturing industrial base and US manufacturing jobs,” said Glas.

Appoint 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 US 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 US manufacturing is vitally important in advancing both short-term needs and long-term supply chain efforts.

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Continue to support tariffs and strong trade enforcement
The NCTO appreciates 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.

The US textile industry is highly automated and ready to compete on a level and fair playing field. The NCTO has called for aggressive enforcement actions, including continuing punitive tariffs on finished products, critical to getting the Chinese to address systemic unfair trade advantages, such as government subsidies, state-owned enterprises, forced labour practices, weak environmental standards, intellectual property theft and currency manipulation that non-market economies use to manipulate global markets and hurt US producers.

Provide targeted stimulus to US manufacturers and workers
The unprecedented reduction in consumer demand since the onset of Covid-19 has significantly hurt the US textile industry and other key manufacturing sectors of the economy. The NCTO wants that the textile industry and other impacted manufacturing sectors and their workforce have access to critical support like the Paycheck Protection Program. Additionally, this programme should be expanded to ensure more medium-sized manufacturers that have made PPE have the opportunity to participate. A robust manufacturing stimulus will help stabilise the industry and lead to critical domestic job growth in this important sector.

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