WASHINGTON—The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), representing the full spectrum of U.S. textiles, from fiber through finished sewn products, released an illuminating video and social media campaign today detailing the heroic efforts of U.S. textile manufacturers to supply desperately needed medical personal protective equipment (PPE) at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The video features interviews with healthcare workers who confronted a once-in-a-generation health crisis and American textile and apparel executives, who came together to manufacture lifesaving PPE as the pandemic intensified and, once again in 2021, when President Biden issued a call to deliver 20 million American-made face masks for underserved communities in 60 days.
NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas, said, “Our video, ‘American Textiles: The Story of American-Made PPE,’ underscores the need for urgent government support of a vital domestic PPE supply chain, while also shining a light on an agile manufacturing engine that grew out of the pandemic and is fully capable of supplying our nation’s PPE. I want to sincerely thank all of our partners who participated in this film and commend the critical domestic textile supply chain that ramped up a thousand times over during the pandemic to respond to the crisis overnight.
These supply chains reconstituted overnight will be predominantly offshored if we don’t get critical policy solutions over the finish line. There is a sense of urgency to this work and getting this down. Highlighting this important effort to key policy makers is part of our education campaign.”
Davis Warlick, executive vice president, Parkdale Mills: “Parkdale is proud to be part of the domestic supply chain that provided 20 million reusable, American-made face masks to the administration for underserved communities, in addition to the effort that has produced more than a billion critical medical items since the pandemic began. This video captures an incredible American story of companies coming together to build a supply chain virtually from scratch to provide desperately needed PPE for our frontline workers and citizens. By procuring 100% American-made masks, the government put thousands of workers across the United States to work and further proved that the U.S. textile industry has the expertise, capacity, and capability to thrive when given the opportunity.”
Gabrielle Ferrara, chief operating officer and owner of Ferrara Manufacturing: “This film vividly portrays the incredible resiliency of our industry to ramp up and produce critical PPE, delivering it quickly to those who need it the most. This is a story of American innovation and the dedication and teamwork of our manufacturing base and frontline workers, all of which demonstrated true heroism in the face of a once-in-a-generation health crisis. We greatly appreciate the administration’s support of our workforce; the men and women at our facilities were tremendously dedicated in producing millions of masks, gowns, and other lifesaving items. We are also thankful for the strong support and partnership of Workers United/SEIU to help bolster this critical supply chain.”
The National Council of Textile Organizations is asking the U.S. government to take bipartisan action to:
- Re-shore vital production of PPE, critical medical supplies, and other items to the United States
- Incentivize private sector purchases of American-made PPE
- Require that U.S. taxpayer dollars be spent on U.S.-made PPE
- Deploy existing government resources, such as the Defense Production Act, to spur investment in U.S. manufacturing jobs and PPE production
- Extend Berry Amendment procurement rules to cover more federal agencies and products
- Implement a strategic federal investment and production plan to revitalize U.S. manufacturing and the domestic public health industrial base
- And support tariffs on PPE from China and strong trade enforcement
NCTO would like to acknowledge all of the companies involved in this critical supply chain and extend a special thanks to the SEIU/Workers United and their healthcare workers who participated. Please see a list of our partners who made this happen here.
NCTO is a Washington, DC-based trade association that represents domestic textile manufacturers.
- U.S. employment in the textile supply chain was 530,000 in 2020.
- The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $64.4 billion in 2020.
- U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $25.4 billion in 2020.
- Capital expenditures for textiles and apparel production totaled $2.38 billion in 2019, the last year for which data is available.