Three key textile trade associations unite for a stronger voice in Washington.
The boards of the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), the National Textile Association (NTA) and the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition (AMTAC) have announced that their respective organizations will formally merge into one broad-based industry trade association, to be headquartered in Washington, D.C. The merger, which was effective on April 1, 2013, brings the vast majority of the U.S. textile industry under one voice in Washington policy circles.
The creation of this new organization will allow the domestic textile industry to more quickly and effectively address the wide range of federal policy developments of importance to the more than 1.5 million workers in the United States whose jobs are either directly or indirectly tied to this critical manufacturing sector. More specific merger benefits will include the following:
- The capability to present a united front to Congressional members and Executive Branch agencies on critical policy issues, particularly the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement negotiations.
- A more focused opportunity to properly brand the U.S. textile industry as an integral component of America’s 21st century economy by better highlighting its substantial economic contribution, particularly in the area of employment; its high-tech products; its cutting edge manufacturing processes; and its status as a globally competitive exporter.
- The expansion of industry focus to more fully cover an array of critical issues beyond those that involve trade, to include issues such as regulatory and government contracting matters.
- Increased staffing to do more lobbying, public relations and grassroots activities.
- A better capability to identify and support major governmental customer needs, such as those of the U.S. military.
The merger will also improve the structural efficiency of the industry’s representation in Washington by combining and maximizing the various strengths of the three separate associations; more efficiently utilizing the industry’s financial resources by eliminating duplicate efforts; and allowing for a more systematic effort to recruit new members—specifically, domestic textile companies that are not currently members of any textile trade association.
Addressing U.S. policy
“This is an important step for the U.S. textile industry and the hundreds of thousands of workers we employ. The industry has agreed to establish a completely unified trade association to represent its interests in Washington. The result will be a much stronger and more aggressive voice, with a wider geographical and political reach, on the critical matters that face our industry,” said Bill Jasper, NCTO chairman and CEO of Unifi Mfg. Inc., Greensboro, N.C.
“The merger will give our industry the ability to quickly vet and react to fast-moving policy developments in Washington. More importantly, it will allow the industry to better develop a positive and proactive agenda that properly reflects the enormous contribution our industry makes to our national economy and our national defense,” said Jeff Price, co-chairman of AMTAC and division president of Milliken & Co., Spartanburg, S.C.
George Shuster, chairman of Cranston Print Works Co., New York, N.Y., and chairman of NTA (as well as co-chairman of AMTAC) said: “The creation of this merged organization will allow the domestic textile industry to more quickly and effectively address the wide range of federal policy developments of importance to the more than 1.5 million workers in the United States whose jobs are either directly or indirectly tied to this critical manufacturing sector.”
The National Textile Association (NTA) traces its history to 1854, the founding date of the Hampden County (Massachusetts) Cotton Spinners Association. It was reorganized in 1865 as the New England Cotton Manufacturers Association and became the National Association of Cotton Manufacturers in 1906. In 1954, the name was again changed to the Northern Textile Association. In 2012, the Northern Textile Association merged with the Knitted Textile Association to become the National Textile Association. NTA represented 33 textile companies and their suppliers as well as 21 companies under the American Flock Association.
The American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition (AMTAC) was formed in 2002 by Roger Milliken of Milliken and Co. and represented 21 textile as well as other manufacturing companies in the Southeast and the Midwest.
The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), based in Washington, D.C., was formed in 2004, replacing the American Textile Manufacturers Institute (ATMI), and represents 84 textile companies and their suppliers.