WASHINGTON — July 17, 2013 — Cass Johnson, President of the National Council of Textile
Organizations (NCTO), released the following statement today in anticipation of the House Ways
& Means Committee’s upcoming hearing on President Obama’s trade policy agenda with United
States Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman.
“With the 18th Round of Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations now underway in
Malaysia, the timing of this hearing, and opportunity for Ways & Means Committee Members to
seek clear, unambiguous answers from the USTR on President Obama’s trade policy agenda, could not
be more appropriate,” Cass Johnson stated.
“Given the vital role of this agreement in sustaining American jobs and bolstering our
national economy, NCTO believes that trade negotiators must remain committed to supporting standard
provisions that have made previous U.S. free trade agreements successful for all parties; including
the ‘yarn forward’ rule of origin, reasonable tariff reduction formulas that provide stability for
domestic manufacturers, and a short supply list supported by U.S. textile industry experts. As more
than 167 members of Congress have already made clear, anything less than full support of these
principles by the Obama Administration and Ambassador Froman will undermine fair trade principles
in the Trans-Pacific Partnership and further serve to threaten hundreds of thousands of U.S.
textile jobs, and over a million more in the Western Hemisphere,” Johnson said.
Just last week, congressional leaders released a letter backed by NCTO to the United States
Trade Representative (USTR) signed by 167 members of the U.S. House of Representatives – it include
10 members of the House Ways & Means Committee. The letter calls for strong textile
rules, including the “Yarn Forward” rule of origin and long tariff phase-outs for sensitive
products to be included in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement currently being negotiated
by the United States and 11 other nations.
“The USTR’s continued support of the ‘yarn forward’ rule and other strong textile provisions,
including long tariff phase-outs, in this and future rounds of TPP negotiations will ensure that
third parties, such as China, do not take advantage of the final agreement, and send a clear
message that the United States is committed to a strong textile manufacturing sector at home,
across the western hemisphere and in Africa,” Johnson concluded.
The House Ways & Means Committee is slated to convene a hearing to discuss President
Obama’s trade policy agenda with USTR Froman on Thursday, July 18th at 9:00 a.m. ET. The
hearing will take place in Room 1100 in the Longworth House Office Building.
Posted July 23, 2013