Four major textile trade associations have formed a new coalition to address ways to improve
federal government procurement of textiles and textile end products such as uniforms, protective
clothing, shelters and a wide variety of other items. The coalition, known as the Textile Industry
Coalition on Government Procurement, organized by the National Textile Association (NTA), includes
NTA, National Council of Textile Organizations, the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition
and the Industrial Fabrics Association International.
The goal of the group is to improve government procurement practices and policies with the
Department of Defense (DOD), initially, and to address the increasing needs for homeland security.
Also high on its priority list is preserving the integrity of the so-called Berry Amendment that
mandates the purchase of only US-made textiles and end items for our military forces. The coalition
also will be supporting legislation to extend the requirements of the Berry Amendment to Department
of Homeland Security procurement.
“As the needs of our military continue at a high rate, we think it is essential for US
textile manufacturers to work with the Defense Logistics Agency and the military services to
improve the procurement process for the point of view of the customer and supplier,” said NTA’s
Government Textiles Committee Chairman Bruce LaFlam, Milliken and Company. “Our goals address both
of these issues.”
Some textile manufacturers have been meeting for a considerable length of time with DOD
procurement officials to work out kinks in the system in an effort to ensure that domestic
manufacturers of textiles and end items can continue to meet the increasing and changing needs of
the armed forces. Although some progress has been made in that regard, US textile companies believe
more needs to be done.
They see a need for better forecasting to address government and industry planning issues,
and the need to reduce the risks of order fluctuations that tend to result in too much or too
little capacity being devoted to government needs. They want to improve communications and educate
government procurement officials about the unique complexities of the fiber/textile/end item supply
February 26, 2008