The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) has just concluded its 11th annual meeting in Washington, DC, USA. The US textile industry is on the rise and there is concern over implications of the ongoing Asia/Pacific and European trade agreements. Internally, NCTO is still in the first year of the merger of three formerly independent textile organizations.
NCTO is a unique association representing the entire spectrum of the textile sector from fiber to finished textile product. Currently, the organization represents 150 companies, had a 2013 operating budget of $1.5 million, and maintains a staff of 6 full-time plus a full time industry consultant. The mission of NCTO is to focus on creating powerful national and international alliances to advance the interests of the U.S. textile sector.
Auggie Tantillo has been NCTO president for 8 months. Mr. Tantillo is a well-known industry/ government textile veteran in Washington. Early in his career, he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Textiles, Apparel and Consumer Goods and, prior to his appointment as NCTO president, he was the Executive Director of the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition (AMTAC).
Steve Warner, publisher of BeaverLake6 Report, interviewed Mr. Tantillo for this report.
BeaverLake6 Report: Can you tell us the state of the US textile industry?
Tantillo: The US textile industry has experienced fair stability and steady growth over the past few years. This important domestic manufacturing industry is the third largest exporter of textile products in the world. Exports of all textile products were nearly $17.9 billion in 2013. Lately, we have seen numerous investments from foreign companies in yarn-spinning plants. A crucial aspect to the attractiveness of building in the US and creating jobs is the Yarn-Forward rule.
BL6: What is the status of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement negotiations? It was hoped the agreement would originally be finished by 2012, then 2013 and now it may not be concluded in 2014. Why so slow in getting this done?
Tantillo: Well, we are operating under the assumption it will be done sooner than later. But these types of agreements seem to have their own pace. As more countries become involved, there are more issues which need to be addressed. Vietnam’s inclusion created a concern for us with the Yarn Forward rule. The agreement, though, isn’t just about textiles. Japan’s inclusion has created concerns regarding agricultural products, and these types of other non-textile issues are causing, in part, the slow pace of the negotiations. And, the wildcard for this whole agreement for the US is the Congressional Fast Track authority to pass it. We need it.
BL6: Will Yarn-Forward be included in the agreement, and, if so, will it be a strong rule similar to what we have seen in other US trade agreements?
Tantillo: That’s a good question. We have received every indication that the Yarn-Forward rule will be included in the agreement. We feel it is essential the rule remain strong and comprehensive in its product coverage with its only flexibility being the short supply list. We are pressing for a strong Yarn-Forward agreement similar to the NAFTA/CAFTA agreements. But there is a strong lobbying effort by US apparel importers and retailers to ease up on the requirements. It’s an intense fight right now.
BL6: TPP, from a textile point of view, seems to be only a concern for those supplying the apparel industry. How does the TTP impact the domestic technical textiles industry?
Tantillo: There are major players in the TPP that are significant producers of technical textiles, especially Japan. Vietnam is also becoming a significant exporter of technical textiles.
BL6: What is the status of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)? Comparing it to TPP, should the technical textiles industry be more concerned about this agreement?
Tantillo: The 4th round of TTIP negotiations was held in Brussels in March. The European Union is a huge market for industrial textile yarns and fabrics. This agreement will be beneficial from the standpoint of US producers being able to access the European marketplace.
BL6: Are the two agreements similar in scope?
Tantillo: There are some challenges and differences between TTIP and TPP that are a concern for the US textile industry. In TTIP, for example, the EU favors a complicated Fabric-Forward rule as opposed to a Yarn-Forward rule. The EU is also pressing for access to US military contracts which means a weakening of the Berry Amendment. We would resolutely oppose any changes in the Berry Amendment.
BL6: The Textiles Enforcement and Security Act (TESA) recently was re-introduced in Congress. Will it get passed or will it stall?
Tantillo: We are hopeful that it will pass. However, its success is likely tied to larger issues such as The Customs Reauthorization Act. If a bigger customs and trade package moves through Congress, it would give us a much greater probability of getting TESA language adopted.
BL6: What’s the status of the National Defense Authorization Act? Is there anything to be of concern or interest by the technical textiles industry?
Tantillo: It has been enacted and there are some notable textile provisions. Title 1, Section 141, requires budget justification display for personal protection equipment. Title1, Section 146, requires study on 1) procurement and 2) research and development of personal protection equipment plus recommendations on how to improve innovation and competition. And the last significant provision for technical textiles is Title III, Section 352, which revises policy on combat and camouflage uniforms. This policy would require all the services to wear the same camouflage and ACU’s down the road.
BL6: Has any analysis been done on the impact of the Korean-United States trade agreement (KORUS). There was a lot of concern before it passed in 2011.
Tantillo: There has not been an analysis done but there have been reports of companies who have been directly affected, especially in the area of industrial fabrics. There has been substantial growth on the part of Korean exports to the US market.
BL6: What are the priorities for NCTO in 2014?
Tantillo: We have to ensure the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement is concluded in a sustainable and fair manner allowing the US textile industry to continue to be a viable player in the global textile marketplace. We have to make sure the Berry Amendment remains intact in the TTIP negotiations.
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Since last August, the US Navy has been planning to phase out its iconic traditional wool peacoat in favor of a less expensive, synthetic cold weather parka which is lighter in weight and more versatile in types of inclement weather. It actually replaces two types of coats and the seabag the wool coat is stored.
The wool coat, however, has some powerful friends in the US Congress. Companies such as Northwest Woolen Mills in Woonsocket, R.I. and Sterlingware in Boston, Mass. Altogether, the supply chain involved in the manufacture of these woolen peacoats -- including sheep farmers -- is estimated to account for 400 jobs in the Northeast. Add to the drama that the new parka, made by the long-time military supplier Propper, is expected to be manufactured in Puerto Rico, a perceived feeling the new coat will be made by non-American workers. Read more...
June 29. 2017
Wisconsin Contract Sewer Wins the Amazon Echo at Techtextil North America. Thanks for all who stopped by the BeaverLake6 Report booth at the Techtextil North America show last week in Chicago, Ill., USA. I truly appreciated talking with you about your company and the industry. For those of you who entered the drawing, the winner of the Amazon Echo was Jim Herman, owner of Wisconsew Inc., a contract sewing company located in Shawano, Wis., USA. Special thanks to Eduardo Castañer, publisher and general manager of Davison Publishing, for helping draw the lucky card. Posted June 24, 2017
President of American Fiber Manufacturers Association Passes. The American Fiber Manufacturers Association (AFMA) has reported Paul T. O'Day, president and counsel of the organization, passed away June 1. He was 82 and died peacefully at his home.
In a statement issued today, the organization said: "Mr. O'Day was appointed President of the Association in 1984. He was fiercely dedicated to the industry he loved for 33 years. A true gentleman and powerful intellect, Paul O'Day led the Association with a sophisticated wit and charm."
Posted June 5, 2017
Imagination on Display in Frankfurt. It was known going into the Techtextil and Texprocess shows last week that tthere would be a record number of exhibitors and, further, there was so much attendance the last time in 2015 that the organizer decided to expand the length of the shows to 4 days in 2017. Thus so, it was no real surprise that the final report reveals more than 47,500 visitors came (an increase of 14% over 2015) from 114 countries. According to a poll taken of visitors, 42% felt the economic climate could be consider "good" (compared to only 32% in 2015). The next Techtextil and Texprocess shows in Frankfurt will be held May 14-17, 2019. Click here for more insight into the shows as well as the official final report from Messe Frankfurt. Posted May 17, 2017
US Department of Commerce Leaves Textile Industry Out of Trade Agreement Priorities. Since President Donald Trump took office there has been much talk about the ambitious "America First" trade priorities including pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, the planned renegotiating of the North American Free Trade Agreement, and even revisiting the textile industry's disastrous US-Korea Free Trade Agreement.
So, it would seem logical the US textile industry would be a priority in the changes in all these trade talks. Apparently not.
Last week Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, no stranger to the textile industry, named 6 core industries for its trade agenda -- steel, aluminum, vehicles, aircraft, shipbuilding and semiconductors. Noticeably missing was the consideration of textiles as a vital core industry for inclusion in these trade talks. Despite back-patting about the optimism of working with the new Trump Administration when the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) met in Washington recently for its annual meeting, there seems to be a long road to hoe before textiles is taken seriously by the Federal government for its importance to the US economy. Again, I ask: Who will take the lead in developing a US textile industry vision?
Posted April 26, 2017
"The United States is looked upon by those with whom I inter-related as less and less relevant as an economic force, and has become simply the market into which those within and outside of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries would sell their goods and services with little concern for reciprocity. To me, our immediate withdrawal from TPP after the election only compounds this situation." Click here to read the entire posting by Bud Weisbart, a small business owner and frequent contributor to BeaverLake6 Report. Posted March 29, 2017
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has released President Trump's 2017 Trade Policy Agenda. The document, officially called 2017 Trade Policy Agenda and 2016 Annual Report of the President of the United States on the Trade Agreements Program, outlines the new Administration’s four trade priorities:
BeaverLake6 Report has created a special page within this website and placed the first chapter of the 336-page document which summarizes the policy. Click here to read it. Posted March 2, 2017
Back on March 24, 2016, I was one of the first to predict the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement was a dead deal. In fact, I said that I wouldn’t be surprised that, if Donald Trump became President, the agreement is shredded on day one of his new administration. Well, I was off by three days. Yesterday, President Trump signed an Executive Order, officially withdrawing the United States from the TPP agreement. Now the question is can the National Council of Textile Organizations put together a comprehensive plan for the domestic textile industry in a post-TPP era? Click here to read the rest. Posted January 25, 2017
There are literally dozens of market reports for the many market sections and subsections within the technical textiles industry. In 2017, BeaverLake6 Report will be introducing a few of these reports to our viewers. The first report being features is The Future of Spcialty Geosynthetics to 2021. It was developed by Smithers Apex, a market research firm based in the United Kingdom.
In exchange for the promotion, Smithers Apex agreed to write an exclusive expanded executive summary of the market report for our readers. Click here to view the market summary. Posted January 9, 2017
2016 China Textile Innovation Conference, as an annual summit of industry innovation, was held in Beijing on December 12th, 2016. The conference, themed on “New Opportunity, New Advantages, New Vitality” – Stepping Towards a Textile Power, comprehensively summarized the industry innovation achievements and explored the new advantages in development in order to grasp the strategic opportunity of the new round of industrial changes. BeaverLake6 Report is pleased to present a report on the conference via our partnership with China Textile magazine. Please click here. Posted December 21, 2016
Domestic PFD Manufacturer's Application for FTZ Additional Production Authority Riles Textile Industry Trade Associations. There is a nasty fight taking place these past few months behind the closed doors of Room 48019 at the Herbert C. Hoover Building in Washington, D.C. The room is the office of the Foreign-Trade Zones Board. The fight pits domestic technical textile industry suppliers and a coalition of textile-trade associations against a fairly large domestic end-product cut-and-sew manufacturer. Click here to read the story.
I am pleased to announce BeaverLake6 Report has added a new column called "Jon Klein's Outlook." Jon Klein is the Business Development Leader at PrimaLoft® Aerogel insulation. With over 20 years in the industry, Mr. Klein has extensive experience in the textiles, apparel and footwear industry. Mr. Klein is a frequent contributor of short articles on LinkedIn, the world's largest business network, writing about the various market segments of the technical textiles. This column covers his LinkedIn postings. Please click here to go to his column.
Steve Warner, Publisher
June 27, 2016
Industry Market Report Available. What impact has the sale of decline of military products purchases have on government shelter fabricators? What is the outlook on textiles going into the automotive industry? What are three issues that can negatively impact the growth of the protective clothing market segment?
You can find the answers to all these questions in the 2016 State of the U.S. Technical Textiles Industry report published in Textile World magazine. Part One of the report is in the March/April issue and Part Two will be in the May/June issue.
Click here to go to the report on the Textile World website.
In 2015, I posted more than 425 items of interest for our industry on the BeaverLake6 Report website. In reviewing it all last week, it got me to thinking about putting together a list of influential events, news and trends that I observed during the past year. I have focused primarily on the US marketplace but each of “the things that mattered” to me has global implications.
So, here go my thoughts in no particular order of importance. Let me know if you agree or if I have missed some. Click here to read the list.
Posted January 17, 2016
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