The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) declared its support for the “Wear American Act of 2012” — legislation introduced by Sen. Brown (D-Ohio) that would require all government agencies to source 100 percent Made in the USA when procuring textiles, textile components and apparel items.

The Act would increase the content requirements under the Buy American Act for textiles, textile components, and apparel only and still would be subject to Buy American Act exceptions in the case of domestic non-availability of an item.

NCTO President Cass Johnson said, “On behalf of the U.S. textile industry, I applaud Senator Brown’s (D-Ohio) leadership in recognizing the value that domestically procured textile and apparel items bring to our government and to our national economy. Whether on the playing field or as part of the federal government, using the Made in the USA brand should be an integral part of how the United States represents itself to our citizens and the rest of the world. Our country should stand proud of our products made in this country, proud of our manufacturing base and proud of the workers who produced those goods. Increased U.S. government procurement of U.S. made textile and apparel products also helps our economy grow. Instead of outsourcing these products, let’s help bring more manufacturing back to the United States. Every textile job created in this country supports three other U.S. jobs, so the payoff to the overall economy is significant.”

Johnson said the Wear American Act is being introduced at a time when the textile industry in the last three years has invested more than $3 billion, including building new plants in the United States that produce some of the most innovative yarns and fabrics found anywhere in the world. He noted that the US textile industry has added more than 2,000 new jobs during a time when the US economy is struggling and shipped $53 billion worth of textile products last year, and therefore could easily supply the federal government with its entire textile and apparel procurement needs.

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 and higher transportation costs in China coupled with better productivity in US plants have sharply narrowed the “China Advantage” in many manufactured product areas.