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Remarks by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross at the Fibertex Nonwovens Facility in Gray Court, South Carolina


It is great to be here with all of you and to be on the ground to witness your industrial response to the COVID-19 crisis. It’s also wonderful to be here with Governor McMaster. You have been so instrumental in this state remaining an industrial powerhouse. All Americans are thankful of this state’s continued investment and commitment to textile production.

I am also grateful for the swift action Fibertex and your workforce took to respond to the COVID-19 emergency. So far year-to-date, this high-tech factory has produced 25,000 tons of nonwoven spunlace material for disinfectant wipes. This is no small feat, and I congratulate each of you on what you accomplished here in Gray Court.

Thank you also for providing us with a tour of the second production line, set to open this summer, and for developing the new material Honeywell will use in its lifesaving N95 masks.

The United States has a special appreciation for global enterprises like the Danish Fibertex parent, Schouw and Company, that choose to do business on our shores. Thanks in large part to the President’s pro-growth policies, the United States is home to more foreign direct investment than any other country in the world with a total of $4.34 trillion investment in the United States.  FDI supports more than 7.35 million U.S. jobs, including the 57 here at Fibertex, and FDI is responsible for $383 billion in U.S. goods exports. I am glad the business climate was right in 2019 for Schouw and Company to invest in South Carolina after acquiring its Chicago facility in 2014.

Fibertex represents a model of how government and private sector can work together to respond to needs, drive innovation, and renew this country’s long history of advanced manufacturing. We are committed to increasing FDI in the United States, and with us also is Joe Semsar, the Under Secretary for International Trade at the Commerce Department. Joe is in charge of our SelectUSA program, as well as the trade enforcement programs that are so important to industries competing with countries that do not abide by the global rules of trade. Thank you, Joe, for being here, too.