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Three Textile Industry Organizations to Merge as of April 1

Monday, April 01, 2013
By Shawn McCausland
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The National Council of Textiles Organizations will remain the name of a larger industry group that as of April 1 will subsume the National Textile Association and the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition. The new organization will incorporate the 84 textile companies and their suppliers represented by NCTO, the 33 textile companies and their suppliers (along with 21 companies under the American Flock Association) represented by the NTA, and the 21 textile and other manufacturing companies represented by AMTAC. It will be chiefly governed by a set of internal councils that will be based on the production chain, namely a fiber council, yarn council, fabric and home products manufacturers council, and industry support council.

A joint press release characterized the move as an effort to ensure that the domestic textile industry has a more united and effective voice in trade negotiations as well as regulatory, government contracting and other issues that affect it. In particular, the press release states, the merger will provide “a more focused opportunity to properly brand the U.S. textile industry as an integral component of America’s 21st century economy by better highlighting its substantial economic contribution, particularly in the area of employment; its high-tech products; its cutting edge manufacturing processes; and its status as a globally competitive exporter.” It will also “more efficiently utiliz[e] the industry’s financial resources by eliminating duplicative efforts” and allow for “a more systematic effort to recruit new members.”

The press release seeks to counter the impression that the domestic textile industry has been losing political clout in recent years in tandem with a continuing slide in revenue and employment and is looking for ways to reclaim it as foreign competition increases. For example, it points out that in 2012 this industry employed 235,000 workers and stood as the world’s third-largest exporter of textile goods with $17 billion in shipments (up 36% from 2009) to more than 170 countries. In addition, U.S. textile mills have built 23 new plants and invested more than $3 billion in new plants and equipment over the last three years. The press release further states that the U.S. is the world leader in textile research and development, with private textile companies and universities developing new textile materials such as conductive fabric with antistatic properties, electronic textiles that monitor heart rate and vital signs, antimicrobial fibers, antiballistic armor for people and the machines that carry them, and new garments that adapt to the climate to make the wearer warmer or cooler.

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