National Medical Textiles Supply Chain Analysis – WWD
China’s grip on garment production extends to the global medical textile supply chain, but with the right domestic politics in place that can be reversed, according to the leader of the National Council of Textile Organizations.
Before testifying at a US Senate Homeland Security meeting on Wednesday, NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas shared some key points.
Testifying on “COVID-19 Part II: Assessment of the Medical Supply Chain and Pandemic Response Gaps,” she said, “The time has come for a renaissance in US PPE textile manufacturing. It has already started, but we are at a turning point. “
According to his account, without the necessary political response, all progress will be reversed and “China’s stranglehold on the global supply of medical textiles will be blocked for the foreseeable future with no reason to invest here.”
In an interview on Tuesday, Gabrielle Ferrera of Ferrera Manufacturing also pointed out that as garment production in China has come back online, competition for domestic manufacturers of personal protective equipment has intensified. New York-based Ferrera Manufacturing is part of an effort to fulfill a federal government order to manufacture 17 million masks.
Earlier this month, the Federal Food and Drug Administration released its latest list of medical device shortages with PPE gloves, medical gowns and surgical clothing among many other items.
Glas’s policy recommendations for establishing a permanent national supply chain include putting in place strict national procurement rules for federal purchases of PPE, and other essential products that would be similar to the Berry Amendment and the ‘Kissell Amendment, which require 100% US content for fiber production. . Another suggestion was the implementation of forward-looking policies to consolidate the strategic national stock and the issuance of long-term contracts to induce investment in the national PPE manufacturing base.
Before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, Glas’s written testimony underscored the need to create federal incentives for private sector hospitals and large supplier networks to purchase PPE made in the United States. She also urged to continue rolling out the Defense Production Law to shift the industrial base from raw materials to finished products for all essential products.
Glas served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Textiles, Consumer Goods and Materials in the Department of Commerce during the Obama administration.
Last year, US employment in the textile supply chain was 530,000 people. The value of US textiles and clothing shipments was $ 64.4 billion last year. In addition, US exports of fibers, textiles and clothing totaled $ 25.4 billion.
Capital expenditures for the production of textiles and clothing totaled $ 2.38 billion in 2019, the most recent year for which data was available.