The US textile industry wants "a level playing field" with China

The US textile industry wants "a level playing field" with China

The US textile industry called on the Obama Administration to utilise the week-long visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to highlight the “urgent” need for substantial economic and trade policy reforms by China to help level the playing field for US textile producers.

Before President Xi left the US on Monday (28 September), Augustine Tantillo, president of the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), urged Obama to press him on issues that directly affect the US textile industry.

“The domestic textile industry has long fought for changes to China’s predatory trading practices including currency manipulation, illegal subsidises, and intellectual property infringement. On behalf of the US textile industry, I implore President Obama to address these critical issues with President Xi and urge immediate policy reform.”

Tantillo went on to cite the recently filed World Trade Organization (WTO) case by the US, which challenges China’s export subsidy programme as an illegal policy and specifically names textiles as a key benefactor of the programme.

“US textile producers are world class competitors but we have no desire to compete with foreign governments,” Tantillo said. “President Obama has a historic opportunity to work with the Chinese President on these important economic reforms to create a level playing field for US textile manufacturers so that we are able to continue to maintain growth and be a substantial contributor to the US economy.”

According to the NCTO, the US textile and apparel industry directly employed around 372,400 people in 2014. Last year, textile exports were valued at $56.7bn, while apparel shipments were valued at $14.4bn. Consumption of domestic cotton totalled 1.7bn pounds.