The National Council of Textile Organizations confirmed that U.S. textile and apparel companies have ample capacity to supply uniforms for the U.S. Olympic team, according to Cass Johnson, president of the National Council of Textile Organizations.

“Our industry and our colleagues could have easily supplied this product.  In the last three years, we have invested over $3 billion in our industry, including building new plants in the United States that produce some of the most innovative yarns and fabrics found anywhere.  We have added more than 2,000 new jobs during a time that the U.S. economy is struggling.”

The U.S. textile industry shipped $53 billion worth of textile products last year, including large quantities of uniform fabric and other materials of the type used by TEAM USA.

NCTO urged Ralph Lauren and the U.S. Olympic Committee to consider sourcing options in the United States, which are plentiful and increasingly cost competitive.

NCTO noted that major studies from Boston Consulting Group and others have urged importers to reconsider sourcing product in the United States.  These studies point out that increasing labor costs in China, higher transportation costs and better productivity in U.S. plants have sharply narrowed the “China Advantage” in many manufactured product areas.

Johnson also noted that Ralph Lauren, along with other importers, has been a major proponent of changing long standing trade rules in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks in order to allow increased sourcing of textile products from China.  Such a move would shift existing textile orders – and jobs - out of the U.S. and back to China.  The U.S. textile industry, along with the U.S. government, has strongly opposed these changes.

NCTO urges Ralph Lauren and other importers to reconsider the U.S. industry for sourcing textile products.  Johnson concluded, “Once they take a look, importers will find innovative products, fast turnaround times and competitive prices for goods made in the United States.”