NCTO Supports Textile Enforcement and Security Act

The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) supports the reintroduction of the Textile Enforcement and Security Act (TESA) in the 113th Congress. Congressmen Tom Graves (R-GA-14) and Mike McIntyre (D-NC-7) reintroduced the bill in the House of Representatives on Nov. 20. The bill seeks to increase U.S. Customs and Border Protection enforcement activities as well as improve trade facilitation through enhanced targeting, increased resources and greater authority.

"We commend Representatives Tom Graves and Mike McIntyre for their leadership in reintroducing TESA in the House," said NCTO president Auggie Tantillo. "Proper enforcement of our agreements and trade obligations is a basic necessity, not a luxury, in regard to U.S. trade policy.  

"Enforcing these agreements must serve as a prerequisite in U.S. trade policy to preserve nearly 500,000 U.S. jobs which rely on the domestic textile and apparel industry," Tantillo continued.  "As we approach the finalization of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the beginning of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, legislation such as TESA will help ensure that U.S. workers and manufacturers have an opportunity to fairly compete in markets both at home and abroad."

Due to the high-risk nature and the prevalence of fraud in textile and apparel imports, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) designated the textile industry as a Priority Trade Issue — yet the industry continues to experience serious fraud, particularly in the CAFTA and NAFTA regions. As the third largest exporter of textile products in the world, with nearly $23 billion in exports in 2012, the U.S. textile industry depends on strong customs enforcement for its livelihood.

The TESA legislation addresses many of the industry’s key concerns by providing CBP with expanded authority to better target fraudulent textile and apparel goods coming into the U.S., while also implementing additional tools and resources to increase the agency’s commercial enforcement efforts and reduce the prevalence of fraud that creates an uneven playing field for the U.S. textile industry.

Reps. Graves and McIntyre  introduced TESA with the support of twenty-four total members of Congress, three of whom sit on the House Ways and Means Committee, including Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA-2), Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC-6), Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA-9), Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC-2), Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC-5), Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC-4), Rep. George Holding (R-NC-13), Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC-8), Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA-4), Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-NC-3), Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL-3), Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA-2), Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC-10), Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC-11), Rep. Mike Michaud (D-ME-2), Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ-9), Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-NC-9), Charlie Rangel (D-NY-13), Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA-38), Rep. David Scott (D-GA-13), Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA-3), and Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC-2).

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