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NCTO CEO testifies at USTR NAFTA hearing
Jun '17
National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) chief executive officer (CEO) Auggie Tantillo gave testimony at the US Trade Representative’s (USTR) hearing on Negotiating Objectives Regarding Modernisation of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada & Mexico. NCTO is a US based trade association representing domestic textile manufacturers.

"We strongly support president Trump’s intention to reopen NAFTA and agree that it can be updated and improved to significantly enhance US textile production, exports, and employment.  The NAFTA region enjoys vibrant fibre, yarn, and fabric sectors in addition to cut and sew capabilities.  As a result, NCTO supports building on the successes of NAFTA through seeking reasonable improvements to the agreement, but not a cancellation thereof, due to the high level of supply chain integration that exists today," said Tantillo.

This partnership is evidenced by robust trade flows.  The US textile sector has a demonstrated capability of developing export markets within the NAFTA region.  "In fact, Mexico and Canada are our two largest export markets, where US textile and apparel exports topped $11 billion in 2016.  Furthermore, we maintain a positive trade balance in the sector with our NAFTA partners, achieving a $3.5 billion surplus last year," added  Tantillo.

"It is our view that there has been a systematic de-emphasis of commercial fraud enforcement at US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) over the past 30 years. CBP suffers from both lack of resources and focus particularly considering the layering of new trade agreements and significant increase in imports over this time. As a result, the benefits of NAFTA are being siphoned off by those willing and able to circumvent US trade laws. Our sector is especially prone to fraud, noting that textiles and apparel represent 40 per cent of all US duties collected, or $14 billion a year. Clearly, improving NAFTA customs enforcement should be a major focus of this renegotiation," he added. (RR)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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