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Industry Talk

NCTO salutes senate passage of USMCA

Mexico and Canada are the two largest export markets for the US textile and apparel industry

16th January 2020

Knitting Industry
 |  Washington, DC

Knitwear, Knitted Outerwear, Intimate Apparel, Hosiery & Socks, Sports & Activewear, Swimwear & Beachwear, Knitted Accessories, Household, Technical Textiles

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The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), representing the full spectrum of US textiles from fiber through finished sewn products, has lauded Senate passage today of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

“We are pleased the Senate voted swiftly to approve USMCA - a trade deal that we expect to significantly bolster textile exports to Mexico and the Western Hemisphere,” said NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas.

Mexico and Canada are the two largest export markets for the US textile and apparel industry, totalling nearly $11.5 billion for the year ending 30 November 2019, according to government data.

“USMCA is a win for the textile industry,” Glas said. “The improvements it makes to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will only serve to generate more business for domestic producers and create more jobs and investment in the U.S.”

NCTO says it worked with the administration during negotiations on USMCA and secured several provisions in the trade deal including stronger rules of origin for certain textile inputs and increased U.S. customs enforcement.

U.S. textile executives are ramping up to take advantage of the modifications in USMCA and some plan to build new business or expand existing business in areas such as pocketing, sewing thread and narrow elastics, the organisation said in a statement today.

“Our member companies, making some of the most advanced textiles in the world, have long supported USMCA and are eagerly awaiting implementation of the trade deal,” Glas added. “We urge quick implementation of USMCA and thank the administration and Congress for their hard work to get the deal across the finish line.”

The USMCA updates and modifies the NAFTA and makes significant improvements, including:

  • Creation of a separate chapter for textiles and apparel rules of origin with strong customs enforcement language
  • Stronger rules of origin for sewing thread, pocketing, narrow elastics and certain coated fabrics.  Under the current NAFTA, these items can be sourced from outside the region – USMCA modernizes this loophole and ensures these secondary components are originating to the region
  • Fixes the Kissell Amendment Buy American loophole, ensuring that a significant amount the Department of Homeland Security spends annually on clothing and textiles for the Transportation Security Administration is spent on domestically produced products

NCTO is a Washington, DC, based trade association that represents domestic textile manufacturers, including artificial and synthetic filament and fiber producers.

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