WASHINGTON — July 28, 2021 — The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President and CEO Kim Glas issued a statement today on the Biden administration’s proposal to increase domestic content rules for federal government purchases.
National Council of Textile Organizations President and CEO Kim Glas said:
“The U.S. textile industry, employing nearly 530,000 workers, greatly appreciates President Biden’s commitment to close Buy American loopholes and immediately increase domestic content requirements on purchases. For far too long, Buy American policies have contained loopholes that have undermined our U.S. domestic industrial base and its workforce. Today is a positive step forward and we look forward to working with the administration on this critical issue moving ahead.
We also want to acknowledge the incredible work that Celeste Drake, the administration’s Made in America Director, has completed on this effort.
With today’s announcement, domestic procurement rules would be immediately increased from 55 to 60 percent with the content threshold increasing to 75 percent over phases by 2029. It would also strengthen domestic supply chains for critical goods.
Increasing the domestic procurement threshold for domestic goods under the current Buy American law will bolster domestic production and stimulate more investment in U.S. manufacturing. We believe it is critical that taxpayer dollars are used to invest in American manufacturing and our workforce. It is essential that we close loopholes in our Buy America laws, expand application and produce coverage of domestic content rules, and close unnecessary waivers that undermine American manufacturing and its workforce.
As part of its efforts this year to buy American, the White House highlights in a Fact Sheet a purchase made by the Departments of Defense and Health and Human Services in March for over 22 million in American-made cloth face masks for communities hit hard by the pandemic.
We commend the Biden administration for the contracts awarded in March of this year for up to 22.2 million Berry-compliant masks. Production of these 100 percent U.S.-made masks has involved an extensive supply chain comprising 25 domestic companies and 5,000 American workers, and we must continue to build on this success and reshore momentum by continuing to award future contracts using a similar process. Our industry was proud to help fulfill President Biden’s commitment to up 22 million reusable masks made with 100 percent U.S. content.
The U.S. manufacturing industry has produced over a billion lifesaving PPE and other medical products over the last year as NCTO members retooled production chains in response to the nation’s needs. We have long advocated that 100 percent content is essential and Berry-like rules help bolster the full production chain.
We understand the administration is seeking to backfill the Strategic National Stockpile with essential products and NCTO, with other industry associations and labor unions, has urged the administration to continue purchasing Berry-compliant products for PPE.
This is essential to bolster our domestic industrial base at a time when PPE orders have diminished. Further, we believe Berry should apply more broadly to other mission critical products purchased by non-Defense federal departments and agencies like Homeland Security.
COVID-19 revealed the fragility in key aspects of our supply chain, and we believe strengthening our Buy American laws, coupled with other strong policies, will help onshore these and other critical supply chains.
Fully maximizing purchasing of Berry-compliant products moving forward is critical to sustaining and furthering the incredible progress made to date and should be considered as part of the administration’s onshoring and industrial expansion efforts.
Using the provisions of the Buy American Act alone is not sufficient to address U.S. national security needs. Our national security needs must foster investment in the capital-intensive raw material production processes upstream and downstream production in the supply chain. These upstream production processes are not only essential from an overall domestic capacity standpoint, but they are also the implementation point for a range of advanced technologies such as anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and other functional fiber, yarns, fabrics, and finishes.
We appreciate the Biden administration’s commitment to closing these loopholes and strengthening domestic supply chains. We look forward to continuing our work with the administration on these priorities as they consult with key stakeholders on implementation moving ahead.
Posted July 28, 2021
Source: The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO)