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24th March 2017, Washington, DC

NCTO endorses President Trump’s trade policy

The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) has elected William “Bill” V. McCrary Jr as the new NCTO Chairman at its 14th Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, this week. Mr McCrary is Chairman and CEO of William Barnet and Son LLC, a synthetic fibre/yarn/polymer firm headquartered in Spartanburg, South Carolina, with plants and offices in the Americas, Europe, and Asia.

Also at the meeting, outgoing 2016 National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) Chairman Robert “Rob” H. Chapman, III delivered the trade association’s 2017 State of the US Textile Industry overview. Mr Chapman’s statement outlined US textile supply chain economic, employment and trade data, as well as the 2017 policy priorities of domestic textile manufacturers. Mr Chapman is Chairman and CEO of Inman Mills, a yarn and fabric manufacturer headquartered in Inman, South Carolina.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Agriculture, National Cotton Council and American Sheep Industry Association. © NCTO

According to the NCTO, US employment in the textile supply chain was 565,000 in 2016. The value of shipments for US textiles and apparel was US$ 74.4 billion last year, a nearly 11% increase since 2009. US exports of fibre, textiles and apparel were US$ 26.3 billion in 2016. Capital expenditures for textile and apparel production totalled US$ 2 billion in 2015, the last year for which data is available.

Trump policy dynamic

“How history went on to unfold reminds us of just how much change can occur in twelve months.  And nowhere has change been more dramatic than in Washington, DC. Unforeseen by most pollsters and pundits, the election of President Trump turned conventional political wisdom on its head and reignited debate on largely stagnant policy issues ranging from trade to tax and immigration reform,” said Mr Chapman.

“Consequently, if there was ever a time for the U.S. textile industry to fully marshal its resources and decisively engage in Washington, it is now. Thanks to the new Trump policy dynamic, the next twelve months represent the best opportunity in a generation to reorient US manufacturing policy, level the playing field, and usher in a new era of growth for U.S. textile makers.”

Policy issues

“Another cause for optimism is President Trump’s forceful call to reinvigorate domestic manufacturing,” continued Mr Chapman. “Precisely because they will stimulate manufacturing and kick start job creation, NCTO enthusiastically endorses President Trump’s macro policy objectives of fighting for free, but fair trade, enforcing US trade laws, making the US tax code more internationally competitive, cutting unnecessary regulation, revitalizing infrastructure, buying American, ensuring cheap energy, and fixing health care.”

U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. International Trade Commission. © NCTO

“Drilling down to the details, NCTO agrees with President Trump that US trade policy must be changed to reflect the reality of the twenty-first century economy for it to truly benefit a broad swath of American society.”

“That is why NCTO supported President Trump’s executive action to withdraw the United States from the twelve-country Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) even though NCTO had endorsed the agreement just one year earlier.”

Addressing challenges

“Although the US textile industry has stabilized its position in the global economy, it cannot afford to rest on its laurels. There will always be intense and sometimes unfair competition from abroad, changing consumer demands and inevitable economic downturns,” concluded Mr Chapman.

“Again, that is why it is so important for the U.S. textile industry to seize this generational moment to influence federal policies if it wants to usher in a new era of growth.”

www.ncto.org

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