NCTO Urges Government to Institute Buy American Policy to Boost Manufacturing of Personal Protective Equipment

WASHINGTON, DC– National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President and CEO Kim Glas issued a statement today, urging the government to institute Buy American policy changes to help bolster U.S. manufacturers producing personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If the government is sincere about reconstituting a U.S. production chain for medical personal protective equipment (PPE) to resolve the drastic shortages we are experiencing during the current pandemic, it is going to have to make key policy changes to help incentivize domestic production. A strong Buy American mandate for these vital healthcare materials needs to be instituted for all federal agencies, coupled with other reasonable production incentives, to help ensure a strong U.S.  manufacturing base for these essential products.

Our government already has an existing example of such a mandate that serves as an excellent model. The U.S. Department of Defense operates under a fiber-to-finished product Buy American rule for military textiles. This rule ensures that the vital textile materials our U.S. warfighters depend upon, come from a secure domestic production chain that cannot be severed during a military emergency by offshore entities.

There is a bipartisan call for action as members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have begun to acknowledge the need for these types of reasonable and essential policy changes.

Expanding domestic purchase requirements through Executive Order and other legislative initiatives will ensure that PPE production through U.S. supply chains that have been created overnight don’t evaporate as soon as this crisis is over.

In the midst of the crisis, our failure to confront this challenge will allow for a repeat of the sins of the past that allowed sourcing agents to offshore the entire production of medical PPE in search of lucrative profits. While chasing the lowest cost import may have seemed cost effective at the time, these past few months have demonstrated that we paid a deadly price through this approach by jeopardizing the very lives of frontline medical personnel that are fighting the pandemic.

This is a national security issue. It’s also a vital healthcare issue and it is decision time for U.S. policymakers. If our country is to be prepared for future deadly pandemics such as the one it is now facing, reasonable policy changes need to be implemented to ensure that we strengthen our domestic supply chain to address America’s security, safety and healthcare requirements.


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

  • U.S. employment in the textile supply chain was 585,240 in 2019.
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $75.8 billion in 2019.
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $29.1 billion in 2019.
  • Capital expenditures for textile and apparel production totaled $2.5 billion in 2018, the last year for which data is available.




CONTACT: Kristi Ellis

(202) 684-3091

NCTO, Textile Executives Back July 1 Implementation of USMCA

WASHINGTON, DC– The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), representing the full spectrum of U.S. textiles from fiber though finished sewn products, issued a statement today with textile executives stressing the critical importance of moving ahead with the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and lauding U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer for setting July 1 as the implementation date now that the U.S. has taken the necessary final procedural steps.

“We commend Ambassador Lighthizer for moving forward with USMCA, a critical trade deal that will greatly benefit the U.S. textile industry at a time when domestic producers–facing significant challenges due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic–have mobilized to convert their production lines to manufacturing personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline workers during this crisis,” said NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas.

“Sustaining the $20 billion in apparel and textile trilateral trade between the U.S., Mexico and Canada is absolutely critical at this time. USMCA, which makes several key improvements over the former North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will go a long way to increasing the textile industry’s exports, as well as investments and capacity in the U.S. We need to maintain and expand a Western Hemisphere supply chain to meet national emergencies head on in the future,” Glas added.

Mexico and Canada are the two largest export markets for the U.S. textile and apparel industry, totaling nearly $11.3 billion in 2019.

“I think USMCA is vitally important. It provides this hemisphere with production capabilities to counter Asia and other developing areas,” said Jay Self, president and CEO of Greenwood Mills. “The improved trade agreement offers speed to market and that is such a critical factor not only for our traditional fabric business, but also for our production of face masks and gowns for frontline workers battling the coronavirus. Anything we do to make this hemisphere more competitive is to our advantage.”

Greenwood Mills, a family-owned textile company in Greenwood, S.C., has converted its denim jeans production at a factory in Mexico to PPE production of non-medical face masks and hospital gowns.

“USMCA creates more certainty in the Western Hemisphere and allows us to have a vision of how to continue to build the domestic textile platform and supply chain, while giving us the confidence to re-invest,” said Cameron Hamrick, president of Hamrick Mills. “This trade agreement makes several improvements, and our hope is it will spur more investment in the Western Hemisphere. Now is the time more than ever to have a strong regional supply chain in the Western Hemisphere.”

Hamrick Mills is a 119-year-old company based in Gaffney, S.C. and producer of greige woven fabrics in both polyester/cotton blends as well as 100% cotton. The company has also pivoted to PPE production to help frontline workers.

“Localized cooperation up and down the supply chain is of paramount importance to securing our economy in a predictable manner and as a model for increased investment for all stakeholders,” said James W. McKinnon, CEO of Cotswold Industries, Inc. “The implementation of USMCA is critical to the continued health and growth of the U.S. textile industry and our regional manufacturing partners. It’s times like this that highlight the importance of a robust regional manufacturing base in the Western Hemisphere.”

Cotswold Industries is a vertically-integrated textile engineering and marketing company that manufactures and distributes technical barriers, knitted and woven industrial fabrics and non-woven substrates, many of which the company has utilized for the production of PPE products.

NCTO worked with the administration during negotiations on USMCA and successfully lobbied for several provisions and improvements that were subsequently incorporated in the trade deal that will close loopholes and strengthen U.S. Customs enforcement.


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


  • U.S. employment in the textile supply chain was 585,240 in 2019.
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $75.8 billion in 2019.
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $29.1 billion in 2019.
  • Capital expenditures for textile and apparel production totaled $2.5 billion in 2018, the last year for which data is available.



CONTACT: Kristi Ellis

(202) 684-3091





NCTO Statement on Administration’s 90-Day Tariff Deferral

WASHINGTONThe National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), representing the full spectrum of U.S. textiles from fiber through finished products, issued a statement from NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas today, voicing concern over the administration’s executive order instituting a non-reciprocal 90-day deferral on certain tariffs. The temporary postponement of duties does not apply to products with antidumping or countervailing duties or those products subject to penalty duties under Section 232, 201 and 301.  As further details of the order emerge, we are closely reviewing the implications for the U.S. textile industry.

“At a time when domestic textile producers and its workforce have mobilized to transform their production lines to manufacture the personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies for frontline healthcare and medical workers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, the administration’s decision to defer duties for 90 days on the vast majority of products imported into the United States is counterproductive.

This move contradicts the administration’s top stated priority of rebuilding American manufacturing and buying American and could have severe negative implications for the entire U.S. textile industry, whose companies and workforce already are facing enormous economic hardship.

We support the need to temporarily eliminate barriers to the entry of emergency medical supplies and certain PPE inputs tied directly to the COVID-19 response. But make no mistake, the key drivers behind efforts to defer tariffs have nothing to do with facilitating access to PPE products or stopping the spread of COVID-19.

Our industry is being asked to do extraordinary things.  We are heeding that call, but we need help to ensure the supply chains we are creating overnight don’t evaporate tomorrow.  We need strong procurement policies and additional funding for our industries to ramp up and retool – not further measures that incentivize offshore production. We need to maximize the U.S. domestic production chain right now to every extent possible in helping fight COVID-19 and make the products American frontline workers desperately need.

We need to provide immediate and substantial relief to our manufacturing sector and their workforce who are suffering enormously right now. It’s critical that we have a long-term U.S. government plan to ensure that we aren’t relying on offshore producers to make medically necessary, live-saving PPE.  We shouldn’t be providing handouts to reward the very companies that helped offshore these industries so many years ago.

Tariffs are one of the few mechanisms in place to help partially address the challenges U.S. manufacturers face in competing with imports from countries with exceptionally low wages, poor working conditions, and minimal environmental and safety standards.”


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

  • U.S. employment in the textile supply chain was 585,240 in 2019.
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $75.8 billion in 2019.
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $29.1 billion in 2019.
  • Capital expenditures for textile and apparel production totaled $2.5 billion in 2018, the last year for which data is available.


CONTACT: Kristi Ellis




Milliken & Company Mobilizing Production of Medical Textiles in Battle against COVID-19

Jeff Morris, Senior Vice President, Protective Fabrics at Milliken

Jeff Morris, senior vice president, Protective Fabrics at Milliken

Milliken & Company (Spartanburg, SC) is rapidly mobilizing on several fronts to ramp up production of newly engineered fabrics and inputs for personal protective equipment (PPE) to support healthcare workers in the fight against the spread of the COVID-19 disease.

Jeff Morris, senior vice president of protective fabrics at Milliken, is co-leading the company’s Medical Fabrics Task Force, coordinating efforts across Milliken’s Textile Division as well as tapping networks to repurpose existing fabrics for PPE products.

Morris said the divisional task force is “engaging all elements of our business to utilize our in-house capabilities in order to meet the needs created by COVID-19, especially those of our healthcare workers.”

A key part of Milliken’s strategy is increasing production of its patented BioSmart® fabric, which uses bleach-activated technology to kill 99.9 percent of bacteria.

Milliken is also working across the division to repurpose fabrics and get them into production with a network of cut and sew operations to produce several medical textile products.

Morris said, “In a very short period of time, Milliken has taken existing products in our portfolio and repurposed them to meet certain standards” of The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) for Levels 1-2.

Scaling up Production of Anti-microbial BioSmart® Fabric

Milliken, a global diversified manufacturer, has ramped up domestic production of its BioSmart fabric during the coronavirus crisis. The advanced material integrates anti-microbial protection into a wide range of medical products including scrubs, lab coats and privacy curtains.

The company’s Biosmart fabric, first launched in 2007, is a patented bleach-activated technology that turns textiles into another layer of defense against microbial exposure.

Production of Milliken's BioSmart fabric.

Production of Milliken’s BioSmart fabric.

Morris pointed to a 60 Minutes interview with a doctor, who discussed the routine he goes through each night to protect his family from contracting the disease. He puts his scrubs in a bag, drops them into the wash and sterilizes them with Clorox bleach, while also showering to remove any potential traces of the virus from the hospital.

“This is where Milliken’s anti-microbial technology can add value,” Morris said. “Our BioSmart product is a textile enhancement. We apply BioSmart technology on fabrics for scrubs, lab coats, face masks and hospital privacy curtains. BioSmart binds chlorine to fabric, so if the doctor is washing a garment in chlorine bleach, they are now going to recharge the chlorine protection to the surface of that garment, which will give them an added level of protection.”

“You are putting another barrier between you and that virus potentially spreading to the next person,” he added.

Milliken Increases Production of Advanced Medical PPE

Another prong of Milliken’s PPE strategy is engineering textiles into medical-grade fabrics for Level 1 and 2 gowns.

The company is now manufacturing new critical barrier protection fabrics to be used in gowns and headcovers for health care professionals and is also researching and developing material inputs for face masks, Milliken said in a press release.

“Our team of scientists and developers are fully engaged, uncovering solutions to address critical medical and protective needs for those fighting on the front lines of this pandemic,” stated Chad McAllister, president of Milliken’s Textile Division and EVP, Milliken & Company.

The new innovations complement an existing range of products that can be used for temporary shelters and privacy dividers for transitory field hospitals.

Milliken’s advanced medical fabrics and barriers meet the Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 ANSI/AAMI/PB70 Standard and are used in gowns in minimal-risk, low-risk and moderate-risk situations.


Behind the Scenes of a Textile Giant–Repurposing Fabrics for PPE

Morris said Milliken has been working diligently to convert fabrics and greige goods to get them to the level of protection that is useful in the healthcare space.

“We turned this thing pretty quickly-in about a week’s time. We went from having a minimal offering to an offering in almost a week,” he added.

Milliken teams have spent hours working remotely—to develop plans for pivoting existing in-house fabrics to materials for healthcare workers.

With graduations across the country on hiatus during the coronavirus crisis, Milliken, one of the largest producers of the fabric, has a portion of its inventory for PPE products.

“By adding unique chemistry and solutions through creative thinking, we are able to repurpose those fabrics to meet Level 1 and Level 2 protective products,” Morris said.

“There are two paths Milliken is going down. We are working on all fabrics for wearable garments [and converting them into Level 1 and Level 2 medical fabrics]. We are also looking at how we can transform materials from our nonwovens business, which has typically been for the automotive industry, into protective masks and gowns,” he said.

A worker sewing fabric for Level 1 gowns together

Morris said Milliken is working with cut and sewers to design hospital gowns to make them more wearable and “reusable” than the current disposal products.

Illustrating how the company is working with its traditional customer base, which primarily makes industrial workwear and flame-resistant garments, Morris pointed to a long-time customer in Cleveland, Ohio—National Safety Apparel—which has historically produced PPE products for electrical workers, industrial workers and other safety-oriented products.

Having been deemed “essential” by authorities, National Safety Apparel has converted its manufacturing to help supply the urgent needs of healthcare workers.  Milliken is providing Level 1-and 2 tested fabrics for NSA to produce protective gowns.

It is just one example of many where Milliken is working with traditional customers to supply fabrics for medical PPE products.

Milliken will continue to work with a network of cutting and sewing operations that are also repurposing their manufacturing lines from office furniture, automotive, upholstery, and industrial workwear products to medical textile products for the healthcare industry.

The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) has been a “big facilitator in brokering with a number of cut and sewers,” Morris said. “These are cut and sewers that we don’t typically work with domestically who make men’s dress shirts, suits and tailored products. As these lines turn towards medical PPE, we are able to come alongside their efforts and supply critical fabrics.”

Ultimately the company’s goal is to develop a long-term, sustainable business.

“Milliken wants to help, and we’ve shifted to meet this immediate need,” Morris said. “As we move forward, there are a number of lessons industries can apply from this experience. You need to have diversity in your supply chain. You need to keep domestic manufacturing more viable. Furthermore, this has opened our eyes to the necessity of medical PPE at any time, something which inspires us to support both now and into the future. It is not always about the lowest price.”


WASHINGTONThe National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), representing the full spectrum of U.S. textiles from fiber through finished products, issued a statement today from textile executives leading the nation’s unified effort to produce critical personal protective equipment (PPE) to help hospitals and healthcare workers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

In factories across the country, textile companies are retooling production virtually overnight to produce PPE products ranging from hospital gowns, face masks and shoe covers to scrubs. The industry is playing a critical role in the nation’s manufacturing strategy and solution to help contribute to the high demand for these products.

“Coordinating with local hospitals, healthcare organizations, the entire U.S. production chain and federal agencies, the textile industry has been at the forefront of the incredible manufacturing effort, contributing to the country’s rapid response to the rising needs of frontline workers,” said NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas. “This industry has taken the lead in this effort, utilizing American manufacturing facilities and workers, despite facing many challenges in this environment.  Our industry will continue to do all they can to serve the American people, frontline hospital workers and patients at this time.”

U.S. apparel and textile executives, representing the entire supply chain, from fiber to finished apparel, share their involvement in the monumental task of providing PPE products during challenging times.

The quotes—for use in any articles you are developing—from textile and apparel executives below offer a snapshot of efforts throughout the entire supply chain to provide PPE products for our nation.

As a demonstration of this effort, NCTO shares a few of the many stories emerging from our NCTO members at this time:

Beverly Knits Inc.

“Our team has stepped up to the challenge of fighting Covid-19 and flattening the curve,” said Ron Sytz, CEO of Beverly Knits. “We have organized a team of 25+ companies with over 4,000 American textile and apparel workers, to manufacture personal protective mask for HHS.  Through NCTO and SEAMS [The Association & Voice of the U.S. Sewn Products Industry] we continue to engage with additional companies to help fight this pandemic and flatten the curve.”

Burlington Industries LLC

“Burlington is proud to be a part of an industry with such compassion and call to action as we have seen over the last couple of weeks in the fight against COVID-19,” said Allen Smith, president Burlington, Safety Components & A&E – Americas. “With 40 years of experience in medical fabrics, Burlington is glad to offer its reusable woven products and technical expertise to those within and outside our industry who are stepping up to help produce lifesaving PPE.  Our employees are committed to the cause and working tirelessly in North Carolina to increase production, reallocate resources and support the evolving needs as much as possible.  Reusable fabrics are critical in reducing the scarcity of PPE and increasing availability on the front lines, offering responsible solutions with advanced protection, comfort and durability where it counts the most. Throughout our Elevate portfolio of brands we are also offering support through the use of A&E technical threads and utilizing our network of contacts and expertise across Cone Denim and Safety Components to make connections, offer guidance and facilitate meaningful conversations to support our communities and healthcare heroes.”

Cotswold Industries Inc.

“Cotswold and Central Textiles have pivoted to making PPE substrates for single use non-woven fabrics for and also for reusable PPE,” said James McKinnon CEO of Cotswold. “We have ramped our reusable fabric production and hope to produce 100-150K/week very shortly.”

Gildan Activewear Inc.

“We are pleased to join forces with various business partners in the U.S. to reopen some of Gildan’s global manufacturing facilities under a strict biosecurity protocol to produce face masks and isolation gowns in support of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Chuck Ward, president of Gildan Yarns. “We are also proud to have donated a number of N95 protective face masks to local hospitals or health and human services organizations in the U.S. to support front line healthcare providers who continue to deliver exceptional care to patients and their families during this crisis,” he added.

Glen Raven Inc.

“The U.S. textile industry has emerged as a critical part of the solution in protecting our frontline workers from COVID-19,” said Leib Oehmig, Glen Raven CEO and NCTO chairman. “Through our collaborative efforts across the industry and with our employees, customers, suppliers and the medical community, the industry has retooled many operations and is supplying important PPE like masks, face shields, swabs, wipes, gowns and many other products. Glen Raven, through our business units, is actively working with our partners across many industries and have aligned our resources to focus on PPE inputs where we are in the best position to offer solutions. These include inputs for gowns, face shields, mask covers, and temporary structures. As part of our response, Glen Raven has organized a fabrication group with several of our customers who are producing face shields and gowns. This group is collaborating with hospital systems across the country to design and scale production of these important products.”

Greenwood Mills

“Venturing into a completely new territory in less than a week’s time was certainly a calculated risk, but one that we feel will pay off in the long run not just for our company, but for our larger community,” said Jay Self, president and chief operating officer of Greenwood Mills. “We have made the switch from denim production to masks and gowns. The first full week of production will result in about 30,000 masks. At full capacity, the company will produce 500,000 masks and 300,000 gowns per week, with flexibility depending on the demand of the products. It’s a testament to our workforce and ingenuity that we were able to make this transition happen so quickly.”

Hamrick Mills

“We at Hamrick Mills have dedicated a significant portion of our manufacturing capacity to the production of scrubs, gowns, masks, and related PPE,” said Jim Hopkins, director of sales at Hamrick. “We are considered and designated as an essential business concern and are intent on doing our share to assist those in need­ patients, front line first responders, and the general public, during this national crisis.”

Hanesbrands Inc.

“We are proud to be working with the apparel consortium and the National Council of Textile Organizations to rapidly mobilize to meet such an important and critical national need for face masks during this pandemic,” said Michael E. Faircloth, Hanesbrands group president, global operations, American casualwear and e-commerce. “Our employees and those of our consortium partners have been working around the clock to transition production from basic apparel to face mask production. This has required amazing cooperation and close coordination among the government, raw material suppliers, logistics providers and our supply chain employees. Together we are achieving a monumental task, which has resulted in the manufacture and delivery of millions of masks already with hundreds of millions more to come soon. Apparel industry leaders, particularly the consortium members, have successfully turned on a dime to meet the greater good of society.”

Lenzing Fibers Inc.

“Like many companies, Lenzing was working to understand exactly what was needed during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic and we already had fibers in a variety of PPE applications,” said David Adkins, Lenzing commercial manager-Americas Textiles. “Thanks to the information provided by NCTO and several other industry organizations we were able to better clarify market needs and determine and provide appropriate products to fit the markets requirement.”

Milliken & Company

“Many of Milliken’s U.S. customers in the flame resistant, workwear, and industrial space have pivoted their operations to manufacture PPE,” shared Chad McAllister, president of the Milliken Textile Division and EVP of Milliken & Company. “When we saw a need to shift to medical grade textiles, our team quickly stepped up. As of today, we have scaled production of these new products so that together with our customers we can help protect medical workers.”

MMI Textiles Inc.

“For our part, MMI has been focusing on raw materials for all 4 gown levels, both immediate inventory and future production orders, N95 and personal protection masks, face shields and any other PPE raw material,” said Amy Bircher, president and founder of MMI.  “We successfully helped secure immediate raw material for Crye Precision, and they gave a shout out to us on a press conference with the Mayor of NYC.  We have secured finished masks to donate to local hospitals that we imported from overseas, and also bought face shields locally to donate.  MMI is stocking a variety of widths of elastic for use in a variety of PPE applications – our plan is to create a robust stock option so that customers can ultimately pull product for immediate delivery.”

Parkdale Inc.

“Parkdale has been an American company since 1916 and as such we feel a sense of duty and an obligation to answer our nation’s call for personal protective equipment,” said Anderson Warlick, Chairman and CEO of Parkdale. “We are proud to work with our industry colleagues as we work together to retool, re-equip and redirect our plants and supply chains so that every citizen in the United States gets a personal protection mask.”

Picanol of America

“The nature of Picanol of America, Inc., business is to support the U.S. textile industry, especially our weaving customers,” said Cyril Guérin, president of Picanol. “Spare parts, electronic repair and technical services are what we offer day in and day out. Throughout this ordeal, we have not skipped a beat, though the environment is clearly challenging. Our customers produce critical fabrics to be transformed in health care personnel uniform, mattress casing and sheets for the patients, and probably many other PPE. As long as our weaving customers will produce, we will stand by them.  This has created a tremendous amount of stress on our associates but their ‘forward looking’ attitude has been an inspiration. It is all about surviving this together.”

Schneider Mills

“Schneider Mills has been very active in the past few weeks in responding to many customer needs for fabric during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.  We have responded to hurried orders of fabric for the outdoor shelters you see outside medical facilities across America,” said Curt Parker, vice president of operations at Schneider Mills. “Demand in lightweight rip-stop fabrics being used for medical gowns and light weight tents has increased as well.  We are continuing to supply to the medical tape industry for 3M.  We are responding to a new customer for barrier fabrics in the medical end uses. We are pleased to be doing all we can to support our country in this war with COVID-19.  Our employees are putting forth great efforts in these changes as they occur rapidly.”

Shuford Yarns LLC

“Shuford makes yarn for several medical applications such as diabetic socks, gloves, cuffs for surgical gowns, towels going to the military through the Federal Prison industry. Shuford has been given a number of opportunities to participate in making yarns for PPE, surgical gowns etc…,” said Marvin Smith, president and CEO of Shuford. “We are working with a car manufacture who is making PPE for several hospitals in their local area. We also internally are using some of our people who are taking fabric from a few of customers and making PPE to give to people in our community.  With all the negatives in our country, our people have found ways to have a positive in our community.”

Standard Textile

“Our healthcare customers are on the front line of treating patients and saving lives, and we’re relentlessly working to ensure our customers and our communities have continuous access to essential supplies needed to safeguard the health of clinicians, patients, and their families,” said Gary Heiman, president and CEO of Standard Textile. Heiman is fiercely committed to manufacturing as much reusable PPE and other healthcare products as possible—as quickly as possible—to alleviate the stress placed upon the healthcare industry and support the fight against COVID-19.  “My concern is we are missing urgent collaboration opportunities with federal or state governments to allow us to serve healthcare workers who are at the frontline of this crisis,” said Heiman.

The Brickle Group

“The Brickle group will be starting production on a general everyday mask produced utilizing our filtration felt from our nonwoven division Bouckaert Industrial Textiles,” said Max Brickle, president of Brickle. “We have developed a supply chain of New England textile manufacturers to be able to produce these masks. The masks we are producing domestically are machine washable meant for everyday public use, not medical use. We are also involved in importing hospital grade PPE for the New England region.”

The LYCRA Company

“The LYCRA Company, the only spandex producer in the U.S., is proud to produce and supply LYCRA® fiber, nylon, and other quality fibers to our value chain customers during these unprecedented times,” said Julien Born, president, apparel for The LYCRA Company. “Now more than ever, the medical community and other frontline workers are in critical need of well-fitting Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that helps keep them safe. We are encouraged by the quick action of many of our customers who have shifted production to produce masks and other protective devices. And with the inclusion of LYCRA® fiber, we hope to help our customers create a better wearer experience, so frontline workers can focus on what matters most – the health and wellness of our communities.”

TSG Finishing LLC

“We have just completed production trials on multiple non-medical woven upholstery fabrics which are now eligible for Level 1 and Level 2 (PPE) for gowns,” said Brian Rosenstein, CEO of TSG.  “We are getting ready to run full production on these.  The collaborative efforts of NCTO, IFAI, and INDA have been astounding. I am sure none of us feel we can move fast enough given this environment, but feel the entire textile industry has been very expeditious with response.”

Unifi Inc.

“We have more than 100 customers producing masks, gowns and other personal protective equipment needed by our first responders, medical personnel and military in the fight against COVID-19,” said Tom Caudle, president & chief operating officer of Unifi. “At Unifi, we’re proud to play a part in the fight by providing the fiber they need.”

Wearbest Weavers LLC

“In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the shortage of necessary medical supplies, the mill has been successful in creating and pivoting their production to PPE textiles. I am very proud of our team effort to turn around our production so quickly,” said Greg Thomases, vice president of Wearbest parent company Swavelle.  “We are fortunate to have a U.S. mill that provides us the capability to produce PPE product. We’ve accomplished a lot in just a few weeks and plan to continue innovating through this unprecedented time. Our hope is to help meet the needs of thousands of frontline healthcare workers.”


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

  • U.S. employment in the textile supply chain was 585,240 in 2019.
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $75.8 billion in 2019.
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $29.1 billion in 2019.
  • Capital expenditures for textile and apparel production totaled $2.5 billion in 2018, the last year for which data is available.



Kristi Ellis

(202) 684-3091

NCTO Statement on Administration’s Reported Tariff Deferral

WASHINGTONThe National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), representing the full spectrum of U.S. textiles from fiber through finished products, issued a statement from NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas today in response to the administration’s plan to institute a 90-day deferral on MFN tariffs,  as reported by numerous press outlets.

The reported plan being pushed by the importing and retailing industries would defer MFN tariffs, including those on finished apparel products. It is an ill-advised policy that will hurt the U.S. textile industry at the very time it is answering the call of the nation to produce medical supplies to battle the coronavirus pandemic.

NCTO has been at the forefront of the efforts to deploy resources, converting production lines to manufacture urgently needed medical supplies like face masks and their textile components,  to address the critical need for personal protective equipment and other medical and sanitation supplies in the fight against the coronavirus.

These unnecessary tariff concessions would benefit importers and retailers at the direct expense of manufacturers on the front lines of the COVID-19 response and send a demoralizing message.

Tariff deferrals would severely exacerbate ramifications for the U.S. economy, manufacturers and workers and open the floodgates for imports.

If the U.S. government makes tariff concessions during this crisis, it will be inviting a virtual tsunami of imports further devastating domestic manufacturing as it attempts to regain its footing.

We urge the administration to abandon any moves to defer tariffs on finished products. It would only serve to allow importers to exploit the current crisis, while dealing a severe blow to U.S. manufacturing and its workers.


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

  • U.S. employment in the textile supply chain was 585,240 in 2019.
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $75.8 billion in 2019.
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $29.1 billion in 2019.
  • Capital expenditures for textile and apparel production totaled $2.5 billion in 2018, the last year for which data is available.


CONTACT: Kristi Ellis

(202) 684-3091