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Industry Talk

Textile industry calls on Obama to address critical issues affecting US manufacturers with Chinese President

President Obama has a historic opportunity to work with the Chinese President to create a level playing field for US textile manufacturers, the organisation reports.

28th September 2015

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Washington, DC

Clothing/​Footwear, Medical/Hygiene, Protective, Interiors

The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) called on the Obama Administration to utilize t last week’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping to highlight the urgent need for substantial economic and trade policy reforms by China in order to help level the playing field for US textile producers and other US manufacturers.

The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), headquartered in Washington DC, is the national trade association representing the entire spectrum of the textile sector.

Historic opportunity

From 1997-2008 the US textile and apparel industry took a major hit at the hands of China’s economic policies, and hemorrhaged over a million jobs, according to the organisation.

Despite China’s continued practices, since 2009 the US industry has had steady growth in the key economic indicators of output, exports, and investment, and is now the third largest exporter of textiles and apparel in the world, it is reported.

“US textile producers are world class competitors but we have no desire to compete with foreign governments. President Obama has a historic opportunity to work with the Chinese President on these important economic reforms to create a level playing field for US textile manufacturers so that we are able to continue to maintain growth and be a substantial contributor to the US economy.  NCTO strongly urges the President to capitalize on this important state visit,” said NCTO President Augustine Tantillo at the time.

Predatory trading practices

Tantillo urged President Obama to press President Xi on issues that directly affect the US textile industry.  "The domestic textile industry has long fought for changes to China's predatory trading practices including currency manipulation, illegal subsidizes, and intellectual property infringement. On behalf of the US textile industry, I implore President Obama to address these critical issues with President Xi and urge immediate policy reform.” 

Tantillo went on to cite the recently filed World Trade Organization (WTO) case by the United States which challenges China's export subsidy programme as an illegal policy and specifically names textiles as a key benefactor of this programme.

US textile industry

The US textile industry is one of the most innovative and scientifically advanced industries in the world providing products to the automotive, aerospace, military, medical, technical, home furnishings, and apparel industries.

In addition, the US textile industry is also a large manufacturing employer in the United States - the overall textile sector — from textile fibres to apparel — employed 499,500 workers in 2014, and textile companies alone employed 232,100 workers.

US textile shipments totalled more than US 56.7 billion in 2014. The industry is the third largest exporter of textile products in the world.  Exports of all textile products were nearly US 18.3 billion 2014. Total textile and apparel exports were a record US 24.4 billion in 2014.

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