The Textiles Industry
The U.S. textile industry is one of the more important employers in the manufacturing sector, with more than 230,000 workers, representing 2 percent of the U.S. manufacturing workforce. The United States is a globally competitive manufacturer of textiles, including textile raw materials, yarns, fabrics, apparel and home furnishings, and other textile finished products. Our strength is in cotton, manmade fibers, and a wide variety of yarns and fabrics, including those for apparel and industrial end-uses.
Textile industry workers are highly skilled and the industry is technologically advanced, with investments upward of $1.2 billion annually in total capital expenditures. In recent years, U.S. textile companies have focused on retooling their businesses, finding more effective work processes, investing in niche products and markets, and controlling costs.
The industry is globally competitive, ranking fourth in global export value behind China, India and Germany. U.S. exports of textiles increased by 12 percent between 2010 and 2012, to $17.1 billion. More than 65 percent of U.S. textile exports go to our free trade agreement partner countries.