Outgoing Chairman Marty Moran outlined economic, employment and trade data; 2019 priority policies; and other NCTO activities during his “State of the U.S. Textile Industry” address during NCTO’s 16th annual meeting.
Thanks to its productivity, flexibility and innovation, the U.S. textile industry has cemented its position in the global market.
In 2018, the value of U.S. man-made fibre and filament, textile and apparel shipments totaled an estimated $76.8 billion, this is an uptick from the $73 billion in output in 2017, and an increase of 12 percent since 2009.
The United States is especially well-positioned globally in fibre, yarn, fabric and non-apparel sewn products markets; it was the world’s 2nd largest individual country exporter of those products in 2018.
The most important U.S. export markets by region are:8
- $11.7 billion – USMCA;
- $3.5 billion – CAFTA-DR;
- $2.8 billion – Asia;
- $2.7 billion – Europe; and
- $2.8 billion – Rest of World.
For decades, U.S. policy systematically undervalued the importance of domestic manufacturing, and President Trump is right that this has hurt America.
Consequently, NCTO fully endorses President Trump’s macro policy objectives of restoring industry, fighting for free, but fair trade, enforcing U.S. trade laws, making the U.S. tax code more competitive, buying American, cutting unnecessary regulation, revitalizing infrastructure, ensuring cheap energy, and fixing health care.
On trade, NCTO agrees with President Trump that U.S. trading relationships must be rooted in fairness and reciprocity to benefit a broad swath of American society.
America’s most important trading relationship is NAFTA, a pillar upon which the U.S.-Western Hemisphere textile supply chain is built. At $11.7 billion combined, Mexico and Canada are the U.S. textile industry’s largest export markets. Moreover, Mexico provides vital garment assembly capacity that the United States lacks at this time.
NCTO has already begun engagement with the Trump Administration in relation to its intention to negotiate new free trade agreements with the following:
- The European Union;
- The United Kingdom; and
Although the U.S. textile industry is world-class, it cannot afford to rest. There will always be intense and sometimes unfair competition from abroad, changing consumer demands and inevitable economic downturns.
As I have outlined, NCTO is involved in the policymaking process on all major matters affecting the entire textile production chain. This includes key international trade negotiations, congressional initiatives, federal procurement, and regulatory activity. However, good policy does not materialize from thin air, and NCTO must have the financial and political resources necessary to help build a stable and prosperous future for U.S. textile companies.
In order to remain effective, NCTO must maintain the broadest possible membership. Doing so expands and strengthens our political footprint. Just as important, however, is the need for our members to actively engage with Washington policymakers. There is no stronger or more accurate voice for sound economic and manufacturing policy than those who have invested their careers in the U.S. manufacturing sector.
My year as chairman of NCTO has taught me that there are thousands of interest groups and entities seeking a choice position at the federal policy table. If we do not aggressively defend our business interests, those with a different and often adverse agenda will gladly push our industry to the side. For the sake of our investments, our workers, and the communities that are so dependent on our continued viability, that is simply not an acceptable outcome.
Fortunately, the Trump administration wants to spur manufacturing output and jobs. It is incumbent upon the U.S. textile industry to seize this generational opportunity to usher in a new era of growth. With so much at stake, I implore all members of NCTO to stay active in this indispensable association that is fighting to promote the interest of our industry here in Washington.
Thank you for the opportunity to be Chairman of NCTO for this past year. It has been a privilege to serve this great industry.
For more information visit: www.textileworld.com