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NCTO calls on Senate to act on Kissell Bill
Sep '10
NCTO (National Council of Textile Organizations) applauded Congressman Larry Kissell (D-NC) for securing passage of H.R. 3116, the Berry Amendment Extension Act an important textile jobs bill. The textile jobs bill requires the U.S. government to source textile and apparel products for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The legislative win follows the enactment of a related piece of textile jobs legislation, the “Kissell Amendment,” that won Congressional approval in March 2009, just months after Congressman Kissell was sworn into office. The two pieces of legislation are the first new requirements in 15 years that require the government to give priority to domestic textile producers when purchasing textile products.

NCTO President Cass Johnson said, “We applaud and thank Congressman Kissell for his leadership and for continuing his aggressive push to ensure that textile workers in his district and around the country are given new opportunities in Washington D.C. In May, Congressman Kissell also introduced another job creating textile bill, H.R. 5393, the Textile Security and Enforcement Act (TESA).

“TESA will also create U.S. jobs because it cracks down on textile customs fraud from China and Pakistan, which has taken production away from the textile supply chain in the Western Hemisphere and has cost the jobs of tens of thousands of textile workers. H.R. 5393 will eliminate fraud and will bring back textile jobs to the United States.”

NCTO also thanked Congressman Howard Coble (R-NC) for co-sponsoring the legislation and applauded Representatives Coble, Mike Rogers (R-AL) and Laura Richardson (D-CA) for voicing strong support for the bill on the House floor.

Regarding H.R. 3116, the Berry Amendment Extension Act extends the Berry Amendment, which mandates that textile and apparel products purchased by the Department of Defense be made in the United States, to the Department of Homeland Security in accordance with international obligations. H.R. 3116 makes permanent the original Kissell Amendment, which applies to goods sourced by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Coast Guard under the Stimulus Bill. H.R. 3116 also gives the Obama Administration the authority to apply H.R. 3116 to the entire agency which includes Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Secret Service, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the Immigration and Citizenship Enforcement (ICE), in addition to the Coast Guard and TSA.

NCTO urged the Senate to pass the legislation and for the Obama Administration to take the necessary steps required under international trade law to apply H.R. 3116 as intended by Congress. “We urge the Senate to move quickly on a companion measure and for the Obama Administration to designate that all agencies within the Department of Homeland Security must source textile and apparel products only from U.S. producers.”

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