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WASHINGTON – US retaliatory tariffs against China look likely to include textiles after the National Council of Textile Organisations (NCTO) president & CEO Auggie Tantillo testified as a witness at the Office of the US Trade Representative’s (USTR) public hearing on proposed China 301 tariffs. “The US textile industry strongly supports the Trump administration’s Section 301 case to sanction China’s rampant intellectual property rights (IPR) theft,” said Tantillo.

Trump recently signed a memorandum under Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act, instructing the USTR to apply tariffs of US$50bn on Chinese goods. Trump said the tariffs would be imposed due to Chinese theft of US intellectual property.

“The US textile industry urges the Trump administration to include textile and apparel end products in any Section 301 retaliatory tariff action against China,” Tantillo added as he claimed that China has carried out predatory, illegal trade actions, including IPR theft, which have contributed to the loss of millions of US manufacturing jobs, including hundreds of thousands in textiles.

“China’s domination of global textile markets has clearly been aided by its rampant theft of U.S. textile intellectual property. From the violation of patents on high performance fibers, yarns and fabrics to the infringement of copyrighted designs on textile home furnishings, China has gained pricing advantages through blatantly illegal activities. Putting 301 tariffs on Chinese textile and apparel exports would send a long overdue signal that these predatory actions will no longer be tolerated.”

In addition to Tantillo’s hearing testimony NCTO and the US Industrial Fabrics Institute (USIFI) and Narrow Fabrics Institute (NFI) submitted a joint 24-page statement for the record as part of USTR’s public comment process on the China 301 tariff issue that closed on May 11.

NCTO is a Washington, DC-based trade association that represents domestic textile manufacturers.

US employment in the textile supply chain was 550,500 in 2017. The value of shipments for US textiles and apparel was US$77.9 billion in 2017.

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