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Congressman Robert Aderholt sponsors textile trade bill
05
Mar '11
Congressman Robert Aderholt (AL-04) submitted a bill in the House of Representatives that would correct trade rules to help the domestic textile manufacturing industry. The legislation, a companion bill to S. 433 introduced by Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) would modernize and reauthorize the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) through 2012, along with the Andean Trade Preference Act.

“This bill will keep jobs in America and ensure that companies like Exxel Outdoors, Inc. are able to compete on an even playing field with international industries who aren't subject to the same taxes,” said Congressman Aderholt. “During a time of record unemployment, it is important that we do more to save jobs in Alabama and America, including ensuring that our trade policy is fair for local manufacturing companies. ”

The GSP is a system of trade rules designed to promote economic growth in the developing world by providing preferential duty-free entry for about 4,800 products from over 130 designated beneficiary countries and territories. To protect the domestic industry, textiles are not included in GSP. However, there is a loophole in the law that does not recognize sleeping bags as a textile under GSP, making them eligible to receive duty-free benefits from developing zountries.

“Exxel began moving its sleeping bag production operations from China to Alabama in 2005, and now produces 80% of its bags in Alabama. It also moved some operations from Mexico to Haleyville, proving that U.S. workers can compete in the global market,” said Congressman Aderholt. Harry Kazazian purchased the Exxel Outdoors, Inc. factory when it was on the cusp of shutting down in 2000, then hired back its employees to re-open. They now produce over 2 million sleeping bags per year in Haleyville, accounting for about 30 percent of the U.S. sleeping bag market.

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