The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) and the American Fiber Manufacturers (AFMA) are to merge their respective organisations in a move aimed at strengthening the industry's ability to influence federal policy.

To take effect from 1 April, the merged organisation will be called National Council of Textile Organizations, and NCTO president and CEO Auggie Tantillo will continue in that position.

NCTO chairman William McCrary Jr says the merger with AFMA brings new members and financial resources to NCTO and extends the organisation's political reach.

"It also cements NCTO's status as the voice of every facet of the US textile production chain, a fact that will help NCTO to more effectively influence federal policies that affect US textile investment, production and workers," McCrary added.

AFMA chairman and SVP of DAK Americas, Mark Ruday, believes the merger will also allow US fibre producers to keep the sector's seat at the federal policy table.

"As a multi-billion industry with tens of thousands of employees, it is critical that the US man-made fibre sector stay engaged in Washington."

Noting that NCTO constantly monitors and engages in all major textile policy matters that impact the entire production chain, including key international trade negotiations, congressional initiatives and federal procurement and regulatory matters, Ruday said: "Merging with NCTO will ensure the US fibre manufacturers have an effective voice on policy matters affecting the sector."

NCTO is a Washington, DC-based trade association representing the US textile industry. AFMA is an Arlington, Virginia-based trade association representing US companies that manufacture synthetic and cellulosic fibre.