At this year’s Federal Policy Update at Expo in Charlotte, N.C., Auggie Tantillo, president of SRG and Associates, as well as part of the government relations team serving USIFI and NFI, touched on government procurement, perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)—or what he refers to as forever chemicals—as well as China enforcement issues, including 301 tariffs and forced labor.
Tantillo explained that there are nearly 9,000 different types of PFAS and that they are used by nearly all manufacturing sectors including textiles. Some have been linked to serious environmental issues. He says there are growing calls to ban PFAS treatments in products procured by the federal government including the Department of Defense (DOD).
In textiles, PFAS provide heat resistance, oil and water repellency and an enhanced clean ability. Tantillo said the textile industry does not use the specific type of PFAS directly tied to environmental issues and that a science-based approach has been requested to those PFAS found to be harmful as opposed to the entire PFAS family.
He concluded with information about 2022 Washington Advocacy Days and meeting with key USTR and U.S. Commerce Dep’t. officials for important issues including textile trade. He stressed the importance of working on members’ issues.
“Our goal incentive to our members is the production, employment and investment within the U.S. industrial and narrow fabrics supply chain,” he said. “We are trying to create with a policy agreement a reason to bring focus and emphasis on issues to build pressure and make the customer base a little more enthusiastic about doing business with U.S. textiles manufacturers. When members engage you become the best advocate.”