Auburn Manufacturing Inc. (AMI), a manufacturer of advanced textiles for extreme-heat environments, hosted officials from the US Commerce Department at its plant in Auburn, Maine, on Thursday.
Part of an outreach initiative with Maine businesses, the Commerce Department’s visit focused on the state’s manufacturing sector and how global trade issues affect local manufacturers like AMI. The company’s successful anti-dumping claims against Chinese competitors were also discussed, with AMI speaking out in support of the fair, rules-based trade.
AMI textiles are used as protection from extreme high heat in mining, shipbuilding, steelmaking and other critical industries. The company also manufactures end-use products, including a patented, modular removable insulation kit.
The AMI event featured a delegation of 12 Commerce Department representatives, led by Lisa Wang, assistant secretary of Commerce for enforcement and compliance. AMI CEO Kathie Leonard and other company officials showcased recent improvements to the facility and new equipment upgrades.
“It’s important for Maine-based manufacturers to collaborate with the federal government whenever possible, updating public officials on new threats and opportunities in the global marketplace,” Leonard said. “Today’s event shows that the public and private sectors are unified in their support for textile production and other domestic industries. Business leaders in states like Maine and federal officials in Washington, DC, can indeed work together to solve a wide range of problems and today was an important step forward in that regard.”
The Commerce Department visit was facilitated by Thomas Conley, senior international trade specialist at the International Trade Administration, and supported by the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), of which AMI is a member.
“Protecting US workers and industries from the impacts of unfair trade is at the core of Commerce’s mission and is critical to ensuring that US companies can continue to produce high-quality products in the United States,” Wang said. “It is exciting to meet and connect with the workers impacted by the important work that Enforcement and Compliance does.”
NCTO president and CEO Kimberly Glas said Wang’s inaugural visit to AMI and the US textile industry was appreciated, noting that she gained firsthand knowledge of the company’s innovative and state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities.
“The assistant secretary’s visit reinforced the importance of a public-private partnership between American textile producers and Commerce’s Enforcement and Compliance division, which assists US firms harmed by unfair dumping of imported products into the US market and a whole host of other unfair trade practices that Continuing pose a threat to our industry and our workers,” Glas said. “It is critically important that Commerce engages in robust trade enforcement to address predatory trade practices from China and other countries that harm our industry and many others.”