NCTO lauds House passage of infrastructure package
Says bill a step forward for domestic PPE supply chain
Posted November 10, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), representing the full spectrum of U.S. textiles from fiber through finished products, issued a statement on November 6 welcoming U.S. House passage of a bipartisan infrastructure bill that will provide billions of dollars in new spending to revitalize the nation’s roads, bridges and railways and help reconstitute a domestic supply chain for face masks, isolation gowns and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
“We commend the House for getting the bipartisan infrastructure bill across the finish line today, and we are pleased the legislation will now go to President Biden for his signature. This is the first step in a long-term strategy that is critically needed to permanently onshore PPE production to ensure our nation is prepared for the next health security crisis,” said NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas. “This infrastructure package will help incentivize the reshoring of PPE production by guaranteeing long-term federal contracts and expanding Berry Amendment rules to more federal agencies’ purchases of PPE products, important priorities of the U.S. textile industry.”
NCTO worked with congressional allies to include a version of the Make PPE in America Act, legislation co-sponsored by Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Senator Gary Peters (D-Mich.), in the infrastructure legislative package. The bill ensures all PPE purchased by the Departments of Homeland Security, Health and Human Services and Veterans Affairs are Berry Amendment-compliant (containing 100 percent domestic content); guarantees long-term contracts (a minimum of two years) to U.S. manufacturers; and creates a tiered preference for PPE made in the Western Hemisphere by our free trade partners using U.S. components, after domestic manufacturing capacity has been maximized.
“This bill within the infrastructure package will help onshore critical production of critical medical supplies, ensuring that taxpayer dollars do not go to China and other offshore PPE producers but are instead utilized to bolster the federal purchase of American-made PPE,” Glas said. “In fact, applying these strong procurement rules across our government for purchases of PPE will unequivocally lead to investments in this sector and help onshore this industry longer term. We can’t thank Senator Portman and Senator Peters enough for their unwavering support.
“The U.S. manufacturing industry has produced over a billion lifesaving PPE and other medical products over the last year, demonstrating that domestic textile manufacturers have the technical capabilities and existing capacity to make the United States fully sufficient in terms of our national PPE needs.”
Glas added: “But this sufficiency will only permanently materialize if several proper government policies are put in place that incentivize the long-term investment to bring PPE production back onshore. This will require several steps, including incentives for the private sector to purchase American-made PPE; best-value contracting principles for federal purchases; and further industrial expansion efforts under the Defense Production Act (DPA) for U.S. textile and apparel production. This Berry amendment and long-term contracts provision is a critical first step and we are thrilled that it was included in the bipartisan infrastructure package that will be signed into law in the coming days.”