The U.S. Industrial Fabrics Institute (USIFI) and Narrow Fabrics Institute (NFI) members joined forces in Washington, D.C., February 7–8 to discuss textile issues with Congress and key executive branch policymakers. Lobby Day is an opportunity for USIFI and NFI members to nurture stronger working relationships with officials responsible for crafting, implementing and administering policies that directly affect domestic manufacturers. These matters include the BerryAmendment, a law requiring the Department of Defense to buy textiles and clothing made only with U.S. content and labor, the potential renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and many other issues.
The annual advocacy event is also USIFI and NFI’s best opportunity to showcase the dynamism of the U.S. textile sector. Policymakers are more receptive to policy direction from industries that are forward-thinking and able to adapt to a changing marketplace. These officials want and need to hear how the U.S. textile industry is recapitalizing itself, creating innovative new commercial and military products and exporting around the world.
Meeting with 16 House and 10 Senate offices, the 2017 Lobby Day policy agenda touched on key themes from the 2016 presidential campaign, specifically strengthening “Buy American” government procurement laws and ensuring that U.S. trade policy works for U.S. textile manufacturers. Reflecting on Lobby Day 2017, USIFI chairman and BondCote president Ted Anderson said, “I’ve been coming to Lobby Day for years. The relationships in Washington built by BondCote through these annual visits have been invaluable to our business. I’m already looking forward to the 2018 trip to D.C.”