NCTO Issues Statement on the House Ways and Means Passed De Minimis Measure

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April 17, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President and CEO Kim Glas issued a statement on today’s House Ways and Means markup of de minimis trade legislation, H.R. 7979.

Statement by NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas:

“We recognize Chairman Jason Smith (R-MO) and Rep. Greg Murphy (R-NC) and the Ways and Means Committee for highlighting China’s systematic abuse of U.S. trade laws in order to put American manufacturers and workers out of business and support its forced labor regime in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region under our current de minimis law. This is a crisis of disproportionate impacts that needs urgent comprehensive solutions.  Today’s markup is an initial step, but we underscore with urgency that a comprehensive solution is desperately needed now.  We are strongly committed to working with the committee and with members on both sides of the aisle to urgently close this disastrous loophole once and for all.

While we appreciate the start of this long-overdue conversation, we maintain that congressional action on de minimis must not result in half-measures that do not adequately address the complex aspects of this multifaceted issue and the many unique challenges it poses. Doing so risks leaving the door open to further abuse, as we know that China will continue to exploit any available means to destroy American industries and our social fabric. 

We appreciate Chairman Jason Smith’s statement today on the bill and his work highlighting the impact of de minimis. We appreciate his commitment.  He notes ‘the work doesn’t end here. I am committed to working with members on both sides of the aisle to ensure that we see this issue to the end and make all the necessary reforms to prevent de minimis shipments that violate our law or give an unfair advantage to foreign interests.’  We couldn’t agree more and are committed to doing everything possible to work with Chairman Jason Smith, Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA) and the entire committee to help fully address this once and for all.

In that regard, NCTO, which has long called for aggressive de minimis reforms, believes that the bill as introduced needs to be strengthened to comprehensively and effectively restructure this extremely flawed tariff waiver mechanism. Specifically, we do not believe the bill goes far enough in restricting China’s enormous privileges under de minimis. In addition, we strongly believe the bill, at the very least, should preclude de minimis treatment for trade-sensitive sectors, such as textiles and apparel, which according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection accounts for a full 50 percent of all de minimis entries.

America’s textile industry has shuttered a staggering 14 manufacturing plants in the past few months, citing the overwhelming and growing flow of direct-to-consumer, duty-free fast fashion products from Chinese e-commerce retailers like Shein and Temu as a major contributing factor.  Beyond exploiting U.S. manufacturing and our free trade partners, these products have also been shown to contain materials made with Uyghur slave labor. As a result, U.S. textile manufacturing is experiencing a historic economic downturn which can only be described as a five-alarm fire.  NCTO continues to call for real reform of the de minimis loophole with a comprehensive solution that is robust, effective, and enforceable. 

China’s abuse of the de minimis loophole impacts not only American workers and consumers but has also displaced over 100,000 textile and apparel workers throughout the Western Hemisphere, where our free trade partners are forced to compete with China’s unfair de minimis access. This is in addition to concerns outside of U.S. manufacturing, where the de minimis environment is a hotbed of trafficking in illicit goods, illegal products, and other contraband, including deadly fentanyl and its precursors which contribute to approximately 80,000 U.S. fentanyl poisonings each year.

This is a critical moment for action.  We recognize many in Congress who have demonstrated leadership in highlighting and developing strong solutions to this existential threat, including Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee Ranking Member Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) whose own Import Security and Fairness Act would block all Chinese products from qualifying for de minimis benefits.  However, Congress must not let this moment—when comprehensive reform is within reach—slip by.  NCTO is fully committed to working with the House and Senate to strengthen this bill with the necessary updates and safeguards to fully end the abuse of the de minimis loophole by China and others.’’


NCTO is a Washington, DC-based trade association that represents domestic textile manufacturers.

  • U.S. employment in the textile supply chain was 501,755 in 2023.
  • The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $64.8 billion in 2023.
  • U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $29.7 billion in 2023.
  • Capital expenditures for textiles and apparel production totaled $2.27 billion in 2021, the last year for which data is available.


Kristi Ellis

Vice President, Communications

National Council of Textile Organizations |  202.281.9305

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