New NCTO President Takes Over

The National Council of Textile Organizations, a Washington, D.C., trade group that merged with two other textile organizations in March, has a new president.

Auggie Tantillo, who for many years was the head of the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, was named the new NCTO president on Aug. 5, said Eliza Levy, a NCTO spokesperson.

He replaces Cass Johnson, a University of California, Los Angeles alum who had been NCTO president since the organization was formed in 2004.

“We wish Cass well in his future endeavors, and we look forward to working with Auggie in his new role,” said Scott Elmore, spokesperson for the American Apparel & Footwear Association, a trade organization headquartered in Arlington, Va.

AMTAC and the National Textile Association merged with NCTO earlier this year to give the three trade groups more lobbying power and a stronger voice when addressing textile and manufacturing issues before Congress and the Obama administration.

In an emailed letter sent to NCTO members, Bill Jasper, NCTO’s chairman and chief executive and chairman of Unifi Inc., a North Carolina yarn maker, said that Johnson had decided to leave his position as president of the organization.

Tantillo had been a NCTO consultant after AMTAC was dissolved.

Prior to AMTAC, Tantillo worked under the George W. Bush administration as deputy assistant secretary for textiles and apparel in the Commerce Department. He was also chief of staff for former U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina.

One of NCTO’s tasks has been to ensure that any new U.S. free-trade agreements negotiated with other countries or regions carry a yarn-forward provision, stipulating that any duty-free apparel must be made with yarns from the free-trade region.

NCTO has been very active in pushing a yarn-forward provision being discussed in various negotiations setting up the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free-trade agreement between the United States and 10 other countries.

“We are incredibly pleased to welcome Auggie’s leadership and many years of experience to NCTO at such an important juncture of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations,” Jasper said in a statement. “In his new role as president, Auggie will continue NCTO’s unparalleled commitment to fighting on behalf of American textile manufacturing and jobs at home and abroad.”