NCTO Advisory to the Trade — March 7, 2019
President Donald J. Trump’s Trade Policy Agenda

President Donald J. Trump’s Trade Policy Agenda


On March 1, 2019, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer delivered President Trump’s Trade Policy Agenda and Annual Report to Congress, outlining how the Administration’s trade policies are benefitting American workers and contributing to the strongest economy in decades.

“Thanks to President Trump’s leadership, the United States is pursuing trade policies that are more favorable to American workers,” said Ambassador Lighthizer. “These actions are contributing to a stronger U.S. economy, which has generated more jobs and higher wages for American workers,” continued Lighthizer.

To continue these economic gains, in 2019 the Trump Administration has announced it will —

  1. Urge Congress to approve the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
  2. Launch new trade negotiations with Japan, the European Union, and the United Kingdom.
  3. Continue to press China to address long-standing U.S. concerns about unfair trade practices.
  4. Defend America’s interests at the World Trade Organization and vigorously enforce U.S. trade laws.

What Does This Means for the U.S. Textile Industry?

The four priorities set forth above by the Administration are shared by the domestic U.S. textile industry.

  1. We too call for quick congressional passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) in that a majority of our stated objectives were accomplished in the agreement reached between the parties.
  2. We welcome the opportunity to gain greater access to important developed overseas markets. Reducing tariff and non-tariff barriers will help put U.S. textile manufacturers on a much more even footing than we may currently enjoy with some these trading partners. We are already engaged with the Administration to assure that any agreement with the UK, EU, or Japan have the strong yarn forward rule of origin, provide for extended duty phase-out for sensitive products, and include effective customs enforcement language.
  3. NCTO supports the ongoing Trump administration’s Section 301 case against China’s intellectual property abuses. We have advised, however, that placing tariffs on finished products, such as apparel and home furnishings, would bring greater benefit to the North American textile supply chain. NCTO was also successful in removing products such as rayon fibers and most textile machinery.
  4. NCTO appreciates the Administration’s efforts to reform the WTO to create a fairer global trading regime and the Administration’s commitment to use all the legal tools available to protect our industries from unfair foreign competition.


The timing of the release of the President’s 2019 Trade Policy Agenda — two weeks before the NCTO Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. — couldn’t be better. Policy-makers from the highest levels of the Administration will be present to speak to NCTO members, and also, to hear from NCTO members about these important trade policies that directly affect U.S. textile production and employment.