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8th August 2019, Washington, DC

NCTO welcomes new Trump tariffs

US exports of fibres, textiles and apparel in 2018 were US$ 30,1 billion.The Washington-based National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) – representing the full spectrum of US textiles from fibres through to finished sewn products – has welcomed President Trump’s announcement that he will impose a 10% tariff on the remaining US$ 300 billion of imports from China on 1 September.

The US textiles industry has long supported the administration’s efforts to crack down on China’s abuse of intellectual property rights while also calling on the administration to include finished apparel and home furnishings in any retaliatory tariffs against China.

Chinese imports of finished goods into the US market, which have had the most significant impact and disruption on domestic textiles and apparel production, investment and jobs, will finally be included in the administration’s retaliatory tariffs.

“China’s rampant abuse of intellectual property rights and IP theft has gone on far too long at the direct expense of the US textile industry and its supply chain, resulting in the loss of US manufacturing jobs in this critical sector,” said Kim Glas, NCTO President and CEO. “We have long encouraged the administration to include finished products on the tariff list, given China’s rampant intellectual property abuses and the significant impact it has had on our sector.”

Underscoring the penetration by China into the US market, finished apparel, home furnishings and other made-up textile goods equate to 93.5% of US imports from China in the textiles sector, while fibre, yarn and fabric imports from China only represent 6.5%.

“We believe this move will lead to more re-shoring of production to the United States and the Western Hemisphere production platform and will also address and mitigate China’s rampant trade distortions,” said Ms Glas. “While we support the inclusion of finished products in the latest retaliatory tariffs, our industry has very serious concerns that certain inputs already vetted by the administration and removed from previous retaliatory tariff lists are on this list. These inputs include but machinery, dyes and chemicals and textile components not available domestically, like rayon staple fibre.”

The US textiles supply chain employed 594,147 people in 2018 according to NCTO figures, and the value of shipments for US textiles and apparel was $76.8 billion last year.

US exports of fibres, textiles and apparel in 2018 were US$ 30,1 billion, while capital expenditures for textiles and apparel production in 2017 totalled US$ 2 billion.


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