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Textile sector looses 10,300 jobs in December - NCTO
Feb '09
The government reported that the U.S. textile sector lost 10,300 jobs in December, one of the worst job losses in industry history. North Carolina is the hardest hit with statistics showing that 13 textile plants have closed during the last year.

NCTO President Cass Johnson, “Job losses in the industry are skyrocketing as retail demand has collapsed. This makes passage of a strong Kissell amendment that benefits the textile industry and the Buy American portions of the Senate stimulus bill imperative. These two provisions will help to keep textile and apparel workers employed during these terrible economic times.

The Kissell amendment is essential because it requires that sourcing textile products used in uniforms by the Transportation and Services Administration in the Department of Homeland Security. This amendment would help keep textile workers in their jobs in North Carolina and around the Southeast. The amendment simply adopts a procurement system that has been in place in the Department of Defense for over 60 years and transfers it to DHS. In fact, DHS already uses the Berry amendment for its procurement of Coast Guard uniforms.

Johnson noted the importance of the Buy American amendments in the Senate Bill. “At a time when U.S. workers jobs are on the line and that the U.S. manufacturing workforce has been hit harder than any other sector of our economy, with one out of every four jobs lost during the last eight years, we need to concentrate on getting U.S. manufacturing plants running again. Congress should ignore disingenuous outcries on behalf of foreign producers and maintain the Buy American clauses in the final bill.”

Johnson particularly criticized foreign governments who have attacked the Buy American clause but continue to shut U.S. companies and their workers from vast swaths of their own government spending. “There is something galling about listening to the EU, Canada and others complain when these countries have already permanently excluded U.S. companies from participating in much of their government spending. The plain facts are that every country in world has similar provisions and that the United States uses them far less than our major trading partners.”

National Council of Textile Organisations

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