Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Thomaston Mills, USA Manufacturer, has Bed Sheets in stock for Hospitals and Health Centers During the Covid-19 Crisis

Thomaston Mills, a producer of quality linens for the hospitality, healthcare and retail sectors since 1899, is one of the largest remaining manufacturers of bed linens in the USA. With over 100 years of experience in the textile industry, Thomaston Mills has been honored to be a known as a quick turnaround supplier during difficult times.

Now, with the ramp up of beds in hospitals and the conversion of hotels to shelters and healthcare facilities, they are ready with large quantities of bed and bath supplies. The company workforce is following CDC guidelines and is prepared with strategies to quickly ship product. They have thousands of flat, fitted, draw and surgical sheets and pillowcases in stock, available for immediate purchase. Towels, washcloths and hand towels are also in inventory ready for quick shipment. Thomaston plants in Georgia and South Carolina have millions of yards of fabric available to use for manufacturing all custom requirements which can be shipped in as little as 1 week.

GSA schedule contracts are available for companies looking to supply government facilities.

Thomaston hopes everyone stays healthy and safe during this difficult time and wants to thank all of the healthcare workers for their service.

For more information, please contact:

Timothy Voit
Chief Marketing Officer
Email: tvoit(at)thomastonmills(dot)com
Web: thomastonmills.com
135 Greenwood Avenue
Wyncote PA 19095 USA
Phone: 1-877-474-3300 ext 2336

About Thomaston Mills
Thomaston Mills prides itself on crafting quality linens with a focus on its customers. A leading manufacturer of quality linens since 1899, they are one of the largest manufacturers of Hospitality and Healthcare bed linens in the USA.

Monday, March 23, 2020

USTR to Consider China 301 Exclusions for Medical Care Products

In imposing tariffs on goods from China as part of the Section 301 action, the United States determined to not impose tariffs on certain critical products such as ventilators, oxygen masks, and nubilators. In addition, over the past year, USTR granted exclusions for a large number of health-related products. Notably, the imposition of tariffs on certain Chinese imports has not resulted in an overall decline in the availability of needed medical equipment and supplies. In fact, U.S. imports in 2019 of all critical medical and pharmaceutical products were up over 20 percent since 2017, before Section 301 tariffs were imposed.

Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, USTR and the Department of Health and Human Services worked together to ensure that critical medicines and other essential medical products were not subject to additional Section 301 tariffs, including parts needed for MRI devices, combined PET/CT scanners, certain radiation therapy equipment, air purification equipment, and parts of homecare beds; sterile electrosurgical tools; digital clinical thermometers; and more.

In a notice scheduled for publication in the March 25, 2020, Federal Register the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is requesting public comments on possible further modifications to remove duties from additional medicalcare products.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Coalition of Iconic American Apparel Brands & Textile Companies Heeds Call of Nation to Produce Medical Face Masks

A coalition of iconic American apparel brands and textile companies, responding to the urgent call of the White House for medical supplies, have come together to build a supply chain virtually overnight and fast-track the manufacturing of medical face masks to help hospitals, health care workers and citizens battling the spread of the COVID-19 disease.

Parkdale Inc.-- the largest yarn spinner in the U.S. headquartered in North Carolina—helped lead the effort to build the coalition with Hanesbrands, Fruit of the Loom and six other companies to set up a manufacturing supply chain and begin ramping up production of the masks.

The coalition consists of iconic American brands such as Hanesbrands and Fruit of the Loom, often competitors in the marketplace, who are banding together for the greater good of a nation facing one if its most monumental challenges.

American Giant, Los Angeles Apparel, AST Sportswear, Sanmar, America Knits, Beverly Knits and Riegel Linen are also part of the coalition working tirelessly to respond to a national emergency in the nation’s time of need.

Dr. Peter Navarro, assistant to the President and director of the White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, worked with the coalition and helped expedite the production of these masks. The first face masks have been approved by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The companies expect to begin production on Monday and will make the first deliveries by mid-week.

They are dedicating their assets, resources and manufacturing capacities to create a high output of facemasks. Once fully ramped up in four to five weeks, the companies expect to produce up to 10 million facemasks per week in the United States and in Central America.

If companies are interested in dedicating resources to help the cause, please reach out to the National Council of Textile Organizations at kellis@ncto.org.

NCTO is a Washington, DC-based trade association that represents domestic textile manufacturers, including artificial and synthetic filament and fiber producers.

U.S. employment in the textile supply chain was 594,147 in 2018.

The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $76.8 billion in 2018.

U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $30.1 billion in 2018.

Capital expenditures for textile and apparel production totaled $2.0 billion in 2017, the last year for which data is available.

Request for Comments on Negotiating Objectives for a United States-Republic of Kenya Trade Agreement

On March 23, 2020, the Office of the United States Trade Representative published in the Federal Register (85 FR 16450) Request for Comments on Negotiating Objectives for a United States-Republic of Kenya Trade Agreement.

On March 17, 2020, the U.S Trade Representative notified Congress of the Administration's intent to enter into negotiations with the Republic of Kenya (Kenya) for a U.S.-Kenya trade agreement. The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is seeking public comments on a proposed U.S.-Kenya trade agreement, including U.S. interests and priorities, in order to develop U.S. negotiating positions. You can provide comments in writing and orally at a public hearing. The Administration's aim in negotiations with Kenya is to address both tariff and non-tariff barriers and to achieve free, fair, and reciprocal trade.

April 15, 2020 is the deadline for the submission of written comments and for written notification of your intent to testify, as well as a summary of your testimony at the public hearing.

On April 28, 2020: The Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) will hold a public hearing beginning at 9:30 a.m., in Rooms 1 and 2, 1724 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20508.

The TPSC invites interested parties to submit comments and/or oral testimony to assist USTR as it develops negotiating objectives and positions for the agreement, including with regard to objectives identified in section 102 of the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (19 U.S.C. 4201). In particular, the TPSC invites interested parties to comment on issues that USTR should address in the negotiations including, but not limited to, the following:

a. General and product-specific negotiating objectives for the proposed agreement.

b. Relevant barriers to trade in goods and services between the United States and Kenya.

c. Economic costs and benefits to U.S. producers and consumers of removal or reduction of tariffs and non-tariff barriers on articles traded with Kenya.

d. Treatment of specific goods (classified under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States or HTSUS) under the proposed agreement, including comments on the following:

i. Product-specific import or export interests or barriers.

ii. Experience with particular measures that USTR should address in the negotiations.

iii. Ways to address export priorities and import sensitivities in the context of the proposed agreement.

e. Fees, charges, and taxes affecting trade in goods and services between the United States and Kenya.

f. Customs and trade facilitation issues, including those related to pre-shipment inspection.

g. Sanitary and phytosanitary measures and technical barriers to trade.

h. Transparency issues.

i. Other measures or practices, including those of third-country entities, which undermine fair market opportunities for U.S. businesses, workers, farmers, and ranchers.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Fine Animal Hair Yarn, MMF Tow, Polyurethane Coated Fabric, and Certain Stretch Knits Excluded from China 301

On March 20, 2020, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative announced 177 new China 301 Exclusions.

57) Yarn of cashmere or camel hair, carded but not combed, not put up for retail sale (described in statistical reporting number 5108.10.8000)

58) Polyester filament tow, weighing at least 225 ktex but not more than 275 ktex (described in statistical reporting number 5501.20.0000)

59) Polypropylene fiber tow weighing at least 225 ktex but not more than 275 ktex (described in statistical reporting number 5501.40.0000)

60) Textile fabrics of woven polyester or of a blend of cotton and polyester, coated on one side with expanded polyurethane which comprises more than 70 percent of the total weight of the product, the entire thickness of the fabric measuring at least 0.8 mm but not more than 1.22 mm in thickness and weighing at least 350 g/m² or more but not more than 425 g/m² (described in statistical reporting number 5903.20.2000)

61) Circular single knitted fabric, containing by weight 96 percent polyester and 4 percent spandex, dyed (described in statistical reporting number 6006.32.0080)

Friday, March 20, 2020

Additional Days for CBP Payments due to COVID-19

Due to the severity of Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has announced it will approve, on a case by case basis, additional days for payment of estimated duties, taxes and fees due to this emergency. Requests should be directed to the Office of Trade, Trade Policy and Programs at OTentrysummary@cbp.dhs.gov.

Analysis of China 301 Tranche 4A Exclusions

On August 20, 2019, at the direction of the President, the U.S. Trade Representative determined to modify the action being taken in the investigation by imposing additional duties of 10 percent ad valorem on goods of China with an annual trade value of approximately $300 billion as part of the action in the Section 301 investigation of China’s acts, policies, and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation. The additional duties on products in List 1, which is set out in Annex A of that action, became effective on September 1, 2019. On August 30, 2019, at the direction of the President, the U.S. Trade Representative determined to increase the rate of the additional duty applicable to the tariff subheadings covered by the action announced in the August 20 notice from 10 percent to 15 percent. On January 22, 2020, the U.S. Trade Representative determined to reduce the rate from 15 percent to 7.5 percent.

The U.S. Trade Representative initiated a product exclusion process in October 2019, and interested persons have submitted requests for the exclusion of specific products. This notice announces the U.S. Trade Representative’s determination to grant certain exclusion requests, as specified in the Annex to this notice. The U.S. Trade Representative will continue to issue decisions on pending requests on a periodic basis.

USTR received 30,283 exclusion requests relating to this list, Tranche 4A. As of March 20, 2020, exclusions were granting relating to 802 requests. 25,665 requests were denied. The remaining 3,816 are still pending.

Trade Policy Agenda and Annual Report 2020

The United States Trade Representative delivered President Trump’s 2020 Trade Policy Agenda and Annual Report to Congress on Feb. 28. The report details how President Trump is keeping his promises to change America’s trade policy – and the result is an economic “blue-collar boom” with higher wages, more jobs and a stronger economy for all. Additionally, the report outlines the Administration’s key trade goals for 2020, including negotiating new trade agreements with strategic partners, aggressively enforcing trade agreements, and changing the World Trade Organization (WTO).

President Trump Kept His Promises and Has Achieved Historic Economic Successes

  • The President achieved more trade successes over the last 12 months than prior administrations achieved in a typical decade. The result is a stronger economy, rising wages and more jobs – including more manufacturing jobs.
  • While 15,000 manufacturing jobs were lost in the 12 months prior to President Trump’s election, more than 500,000 manufacturing jobs have been added to the American economy since then.
  • Real median household income is now at the highest level ever recorded. Wages are growing faster for nearly all groups, but historically disadvantaged groups are seeing the fastest growth.
  • Wealth inequality has finally declined, as the share of net worth held by the bottom 50 percent of households has increased while the share held by the top one percent of households has decreased.

Standing Up to China’s Unfair Trade Practices

  • President Trump kept his promise and confronted China over its unfair trade practices, after years of little more than talk from Washington. The enforceable and historic Phase One Agreement he signed requires major structural changes by China relating to intellectual property protection, technology transfer, agricultural standards, financial services, and currency, while maintaining leverage with significant tariffs on $370 billion worth of imports from China.
  • In addition, the Phase One Agreement expands trade, with enforceable commitments by China to increase purchases of U.S. exports by no less than $200 billion over the next two years in four major areas: manufactured goods, agriculture, energy, and services. Both sides expect that China’s increased imports of U.S. goods and services will continue on this trajectory beyond 2021.

Replacing NAFTA With a Modern and Balanced USMCA

  • President Trump kept his promise to end NAFTA by replacing it with a far better agreement – the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The USMCA is a 21st century agreement that will lead to fairer trade and robust economic growth in North America.
  • The USMCA encourages U.S. manufacturing by requiring high-wage labor content for autos; strengthens supply chains to provide new market opportunities for the U.S. textile and apparel sector; provides strong protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights; includes the strongest labor provisions of any trade agreement; expands market access for American food and agricultural products; contains the strongest disciplines on digital trade of any international agreement; and makes environmental obligations fully enforceable.

Fairer Trade with Japan

  • The President successfully negotiated two trade agreements with Japan, the world’s third largest national economy.
  • The United States-Japan Trade Agreement and the United States-Japan Digital Trade Agreement reflect early achievements from negotiations in the areas of market access and digital trade. Thanks to these agreements, more than 90% of U.S. food and agricultural products imported into Japan will either be duty free or receive preferential tariff access, and new digital trade rules covering $40 billion in trade will help drive innovation and economic prosperity.

Vigorously Enforcing Our Trade Laws and Trade Agreements

  • Under President Trump’s leadership, the United States is actively enforcing our trade laws and free trade agreements. For too long, the United States failed to take steps to ensure that other nations followed through on the promises they made in trade agreements with the United States. That failed approach has ended.
  • Over the last year, the United States initiated two actions to enforce environmental provisions in our free trade agreements, and our trading partners changed their practices. The United States also obtained an historic WTO award of $7.5 billion annually – the largest in WTO history – in our country’s long-running dispute with the European Union over illegal subsidies to Airbus.

Leading Efforts to Change the World Trade Organization

  • The United States has engaged extensively with WTO Members to address long-standing U.S. concerns, bring forward new ideas and proposals, and advance ongoing negotiations.
  • The United States led efforts to assess the failings of the WTO Appellate Body and issued the first comprehensive study of the Appellate Body. The Report details the Appellate Body’s repeated failure to follow the rules WTO Members agreed to. It also describes how the Appellate Body’s persistent overreaching has taken away Members’ rights and imposed new obligations on those Members without their consent.
  • The United States led efforts to improve transparency and compliance with notification of certain trade-related obligations. The United States was the first WTO Member to table a transparency proposal that establishes appropriate consequences for chronic non-compliance with notification obligations.
  • The United States proposed updating Members’ special and differential designations so the WTO can reflect current economic realities. As a result, several WTO Members have renounced seeking special and differential treatment in trade negotiations going forward.
  • Together with other WTO Members, the United States is working on e-commerce and digital trade initiatives. The United States has proposed high-standard rules in all key areas of digital trade, such as those related to cross-border data flows, privacy, source code, and cybersecurity to help ensure that digital trade can continue to drive economic growth and development.
  • The United States is actively working to finalize a multilateral fisheries agreement. The United States is aiming high to achieve meaningful reductions in these harmful subsidies and imposing real constraints on the world’s largest subsidizers.

Expanding an America-First Trade Agenda

  • Over the coming year, the Trump Administration will focus on negotiating new trade agreements that benefit all Americans, strongly enforcing the nation’s trade laws to ensure our trading partners play by the rules, and protecting American interests at the WTO.
  • The United States will pursue balanced and reciprocal trade agreements with important strategic partners, including the United Kingdom, the European Union and Kenya.
  • United Kingdom - As part of a trade agreement with the UK, the United States aims to achieve a fairer and deeper trade relationship with the UK by addressing certain tariff and non-tariff barriers and agreeing on high-standard rules.
  • European Union - For many years, U.S. businesses have been at a disadvantage in doing business in the EU. In a fair trade agreement with the European Union, the United States seeks to eliminate EU barriers to its markets and seeks a more balanced trade relationship.
  • Kenya - In pursuing negotiations on a trade agreement with Kenya, the Trump Administration is responding to Congress’ mandate, as expressed in the African Growth and Opportunity Act, to negotiate reciprocal and mutually beneficial trade agreements that serve the interests of both the United States and the countries of sub-Saharan Africa.
  • The Trump Administration will continue to aggressively enforce U.S. trade laws to protect the interests of American businesses and workers. USTR will monitor our trading partners to ensure their compliance with the terms of bilateral, regional, and WTO trade agreements. Where appropriate, USTR may take action under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 or recommend action under other statutory authorities granted to the President.
  • The United States will also explore a broader reset at the WTO.
  • The WTO currently locks in an outdated tariff framework that no longer reflects deliberate policy choices and economic realities. Members need to fundamentally rethink tariff commitments by the United States and its trading partners.
  • In addition, the United States will continue to push for a close review of the WTO’s budget, which has faced little scrutiny in the past. The WTO must ensure that there is accountability and that expenditures reflect the priorities of its Members.
  • Finally, the United States will advocate for changes that allow for more -- and more effective -- plurilateral agreements.

Information on Processing of Binding Ruling Requests by CBP’s National Commodity Specialist Division

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has announced that the National Commodity Specialist Division is still accepting requests for binding rulings. However, the evolving situation regarding the declared national emergency on the novel Corona Virus (COVID-19) has affected the processing operations of our Customs Information Exchange branch.

CPB is alerting the trade that paper binding ruling requests and requests that include or necessitate a sample may be delayed in processing and/or issuance. During this time, it is recommended that all ruling requests be made through the use of eRulings (https://erulings.cbp.gov/s/), and include detailed photographs or short videos of the product to be submitted in lieu of samples. However, CBP recognizes that certain commodities require a sample in order for a determination to be made. In such cases, delays may occur. The National Import Specialist assigned to work on your ruling will reach out to you to discuss your options and whether a determination can be made without a sample.

U.S. Textile and Nonwoven Associations Urge Government to Deem Manufacturing Facilities “Essential”

U.S. textile and nonwoven associations issued a joint statement yesterday urging federal, state and local governments to deem textile and nonwoven manufacturing facilities as “essential” when drafting “Shelter in Place” orders in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

The associations state that their members make a broad range of inputs and finished products used in an array of personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical nonwoven/textile supplies, including surgical gowns, face masks, antibacterial wipes, lab coats, blood pressure cuffs, cotton swabs and hazmat suits. These items are vital to the government’s effort to ramp up emergency production of these critical supplies.

If workers who produce these goods are not granted an “essential” exemption from “Shelter in Place” and other quarantine orders to go to their manufacturing and distribution facilities, it will cause major disruptions in the availability of these goods. This will create significant hardship to healthcare providers and consumers across the country who depend on steady and stable supplies of these critical items. We are asking the administration and state and local authorities to provide greater certainty and clarity for our companies and employees and ask for a clear exclusion of our manufacturing operations from “Shelter in Place” orders as the textile and nonwoven products that we make in the U.S. play an essential role in mitigating the shortages of critical supplies. Such a designation will help us avoid disruptions of vital goods and services during this challenging time.

NCTO is a Washington, DC-based trade association that represents domestic textile manufacturers, including artificial and synthetic filament and fiber producers.

  • U.S. employment in the textile supply chain was 594,147 in 2018.
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $76.8 billion in 2018.
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $30.1 billion in 2018.
  • Capital expenditures for textile and apparel production totaled $2.0 billion in 2017, the last year for which data is available.

INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, serves hundreds of member companies in the nonwovens/engineered fabrics industry in global commerce. Since 1968, INDA events have helped members connect, learn, innovate, and develop their businesses. INDA educational courses, market data, test methods, consultancy, and issue advocacy help members succeed by providing them the information they need to better plan and execute their business strategies. For more information, visit inda.org, or download the INDA mobile app for immediate updates.

The Industrial Fabrics Association International is a member-owned, member-driven trade association representing the global industrial fabrics industry since 1912. IFAI invests more than $8 million each year to advance the industry and support member companies. IFAI provides members with relevant information, sourcing solutions and networking opportunities to sustain and grow their businesses. www.ifai.com

Lilly of New York Children’s Winter Boots Recalled by Kidz Concepts Due to Violation of Federal Lead Content Ban

Description: This recall involves Lilly of New York-branded children’s winter boots. They were sold in children’s sizes 5 through 10 in the following colors and style numbers: Aqua (53325), black with glitter (53323), black with green (53317), and purple with black (53324). The lined boots have a Velcro closure and rubber soles. Lilly and the style number appear on the inside of the shoe’s tongue.

Remedy: Consumers should immediately take the recalled winter boots away from children and contact Lilly of New York for a full refund or to receive a free replacement product of similar value. Zulily is contacting all known purchasers directly.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported.

Sold Exclusively Online: Zulily.com from November 2019 through January 2020 for between $35 and $40.

Manufacturer(s): Wenzhou Jinlong Shoes Co., of China

Importer(s): Kidz Concepts, of New York (owner of Lilly of New York)

Manufactured In: China

Recall number: 20-729

For more information and photos CLICK HERE.

Federal Prison Industries Awarded Army Physical Fitness Jacket Contract

Federal Prison Industries, doing business as UNICOR, Washington, District of Columbia, has been awarded a maximum $12,720,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for Army physical fitness uniform jackets. This is a one-year base contract with two one-year option periods. Locations of performance are Florida and Washington, District of Columbia, with a March 18, 2021, performance completion date. Using military service is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2020 through 2021 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE1C1-20-D-F055).

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Trump Administration Notifies Congress of Intent to Negotiate Trade Agreement with Kenya

On March 17, 2020, at the direction of President Donald J. Trump, United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer notified Congress that the Trump Administration will negotiate a trade agreement with Kenya.

In officially notifying Congress, the U.S. Trade Representative is following the procedures set out in the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 – often referred to as Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) – which requires ongoing consultations with Congress. These consultations ensure that USTR develops negotiating positions with the benefit of Congress’ views. USTR will also publish a notice in the Federal Register requesting the public’s input on the direction, focus and content of the trade negotiations.

In accordance with TPA, the U.S. Trade Representative will publish objectives of the negotiations with Kenya at least 30 days before formal trade negotiations begin.

Cashmere Apparel Knit-to-Shape in Hong Kong and Finished in China is Product of Hong Kong, CBP Rules

On February 5, 2020, U.S. Customs ruled (Ruling N308718) that a cashmere scarf assembled into a finished item in China of panel knit-to-shape in Hong Kong, is a product of Hong Kong. The manufacturing processes were--

The cashmere yarns are imported from China into Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, the yarns are knit-to-shape into a scarf panel with lines of demarcation and two tubular binding hems. The long edge of the scarf panel is finished with half-milano stitch hem.

The panel and hems are shipped to China and assembled into the finished item.

CBP ruled "As the good is knit to shape and a change to 6117.10 from yarn occurs in Hong Kong, origin is conferred in Hong Kong."

On February 25, 2020, U.S. Customs ruled (Ruling N309575) that a cashmere pullover assembled into a finished item in China of panels knit-to-shape in Hong Kong, is a product of Hong Kong.

Consumer Product Safety Commissioner Baiocco and Staff Meeting with Representatives from the American Apparel & Footwear Association

On March 20, 2020, Consumer Product Safety Commissioner Baiocco and staff will be meeting with Kristen Kern, Christina Mitropoulos, and Nate Herman, from the American Apparel & Footwear Association to discuss counterfeits, product safety concerns with counterfeit products, and online retail liability. The meeting will be held on a conference call. The meeting was requested by Kristen Kern. For additional information, including call in number, contact Brandon Schall at Bschall@cpsc.gov.

Catching Up on Section 301 Exclusions for Medical Textiles

On March 10, 2020, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative published in the Federal Register (85 FR 13970) Notice of Product Exclusions: China’s Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation. Among the articles excluded from Tranche 4A China Section 301 tariffs are three medical textile products>

6210.10.5000 Nonwoven disposable apparel designed for use in hospitals, clinics, laboratories or contaminated areas.

6307.90.6090 Surgical drapes: Of fabric formed on a base of paper or covered or lined with paper.

6307.90.6800 Spunlaced or bonded fiber fabric disposable surgical drapes of man-made fibers.

More Health Care Textile Products Excluded from China 301 Tariffs

On March 17, 2020, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative published in the Federal Register (82 FR 15244) Notice of Product Exclusions: China's Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation. This list of 19 articles relates to Tranche 4A and includes the following textile products, which, as in earlier exclusion orders, relate to heath care products.

6) Cold packs consisting of a single-use, instant, endothermic chemical reaction cold pack combined with a textile exterior lining (described in statistical reporting number 6307.90.9889)

7) Disposable shoe and boot covers of man-made fiber fabrics (described in statistical reporting number 6307.90.9889)

8) Eye compresses, each consisting of a fabric cover filled with silica or gel beads, with or without a hook-and-loop fastener strap (described in statistical reporting number 6307.90.9889)

9) Face masks, single-use, of textile fabrics (described in statistical reporting number 6307.90.9889)

10) Gel pads of textile materials, each with removable fabric sleeves, in the shape of hearts, circles or quadrants (described in statistical reporting number 6307.90.9889)

11) Hot packs of textile material, single-use (exothermic chemical reaction) (described in statistical reporting number 6307.90.9889)

12) Laparotomy sponges of cotton (described in statistical reporting number 6307.90.9889)

13) Patient restraint or safety straps of textile materials, with hook-and-loop or ladder lock fasteners (described in statistical reporting number 6307.90.9889)

14) Single-use blood pressure cuff sleeves of textile materials (described in statistical reporting number 6307.90.9889)

15) Single-use medical masks of textile material (described in statistical reporting number 6307.90.9889)

16) Single-use stethoscope covers (described in statistical reporting number 6307.90.9889)

17) Woven gauze sponges of cotton in square or rectangular sizes (described in statistical reporting number 6307.90.9889)

Contract for Men's Poromeric Shoes Awarded

Capps Shoe Co., Lynchburg, Virginia, has been awarded a maximum $15,396,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for men's poromeric shoes. This was a competitive acquisition with two responses received. This is a one-year base year contract with two one-year option periods. Location of performance is Virginia, with a March 17, 2021, performance completion date. Using military services are Army, Air Force and Marine Corps. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2020 through 2021 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE1C1-20-D-1246).

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Ambassador Lighthizer Statement on Canada's Approval of the USMCA

On March 13, 2020, United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer commented on the Canadian Parliament’s approval of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA):
"Now that the USMCA has been approved by all three countries, an historic new chapter for North American trade has begun. This landmark achievement would not be possible without President Trump’s leadership and determination to strengthen our economy, and the hard work of our negotiating partners in Canada and Mexico. USMCA is the gold standard by which all future trade agreements will be judged, and citizens of all three countries will benefit for years to come."


USMCA was signed into law by President Donald J. Trump on January 29, 2020, after it received overwhelming bipartisan support in Congress. The President was elected on replacing NAFTA with an agreement that puts American workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses first. He achieved this goal with the USMCA, an agreement that will bring manufacturing jobs back, help service industry workers, and raise wages.

All three countries are working together closely on implementation in advance of the Agreement’s entry into force.

Certain Nonwoven Fabric on Latest China 301 Exclusion List

On March 16, 2020, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative published in the Federal Register (85 FR 15015) Notice of Product Exclusions: China’s Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation. This notice includes five more 10-digit statistical reporting numbers in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the U.S. that are being excluded from Tranche 3 China 301 tariffs:




4015.19.1010, and


The final classification, 5603.12.0090, relates to Nonwovens, whether or not impregnated, coated, covered or laminated: Of man-made filaments: Weighing more than 25 g/m2 but not more than 70 g/m2: OTHER THAN impregnated, coated or covered with material other than or in addition to rubber, plastics, wood pulp or glass fibers, or "imitation suede."

Petitions relating to this classification were filed by:

  2. Nutex Concepts of North Carolina Corp
  3. Oxco, Inc.
  4. Medline Industries, Inc.
  5. Crown Awards
  6. Jobe's Company
  7. Fluvitex USA Inc
  8. U.S. Nonwovens Corp.

The requests related to nonwovens for a range of applications, including bedding, upholstery, automotive, and building materials, but the most frequently cited use was in health care. Approval of these request follows a history of approvals for articles critical to health care. Importers of the nonwoven for non-health care uses will also get the benefit of the exclusion because Customs cannot know at the time of importation what the final use of an article will be.

Friday, March 6, 2020

2020 Federal & Defense Textile Summit, April 21-22, 2020

The Offices of Senator Richard Burr and Thom Tillis and the North Carolina Military Business Center are pleased to host the Southeast Region Federal and Defense Textile (FEDTex) Summit in Charlotte, North Carolina.

WHEN. April 21-22, 2020

WHERE. Harris Conference Center, 3216 CPCC Harris Campus Drive, Charlotte, North Carolina 28208

ABOUT THE EVENT. This Summit connects US Department of Defense and federal agency clothing and individual equipment buyers and requirements officials with textile manufacturers, supply chain, research and development testing and academic resources from across the Southeast U.S. All manufacturers of textile-based military, medical and related soldier systems – and their supply chain partners and R&D resources – should attend this Summit.

For more information and registration CLICK HERE.

Kathie Leonard: ‘Buy American’ legislation would benefit Maine businesses

"Maine’s economy depends on the success of businesses such as Auburn Manufacturing Inc. Unlike out-of-state businesses or multinational companies, Maine-based businesses are uniquely invested in their communities, their people and the future of this state. We provide quality, good-paying jobs, which help retain young people and generate local economic activity," writes Kathie Leonard is this opinion piece in the Sun Journal.

Contract for Army Combat Pants Awarded

Goodwill Industries of South Florida Inc., Miami, Florida, was awarded an $11,099,962 firm-fixed-price contract for Advanced Combat Pants. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work will be performed in Miami, Florida, with an estimated completion date of Aug. 31, 2021. Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance, Army funds in the amount of $11,099,962 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity (W911QY-20-C-0024).

Joules USA Recalls Children’s Pajamas and Robes Due to Violation of Federal Flammability Standard; Burn Hazard

Description: This recall involves Joules girls’ and boys’ pajamas and robes sold in multiple prints and sizes. Joules is printed on the sewn-in neck label. Garments with the following item numbers, printed on the wash care label, are included on this recall.

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled garments, take them away from children and contact Joules USA for a full refund.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported

Sold At: Children’s boutiques nationwide and online at www.joulesusa.com from November 2017 through December 2019 for between $20 to $70.

Distributor(s): Joules USA Inc., of New York and Joules Limited, of England.

Manufactured In: China and Hong Kong

Recall number: 20-087

For more information and photos CLICK HERE.