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Kissell wins another major victory for American textiles

14 May '12
3 min read

Representative Larry Kissell scored another major victory for the American textile industry, successfully passing an amendment introduced to the Defense Authorization Act that would require that the production and manufacturing of all components of Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police uniforms be done entirely in America.

Kissell's amendment will close a loophole in Department of Defense contracting that allows foreign fabrics from China, Vietnam and elsewhere to be used. The legislation now ensures that U.S. taxpayer dollars are spent supporting U.S. textile companies and workers.

“Since my first day in Congress, I've worked to ensure that American businesses are given a fair shot by our government, and this is another instance in which we should accept nothing short of Buy American,” said Kissell.

“If taxpayer funds are being used, they should be used in every possible way to promote U.S. businesses and American workers. I spent most of my adult life working in textiles, and I know the pride that American textile workers take in the apparel and uniforms they make for our troops. American made goods are the best in the world, and I'm glad I could help close this loophole and take steps to protect and create jobs right here in North Carolina.”

Kissell's amendment passed the House Armed Services Committee by a vote of 41-20. It will now be included in the final text of the bill as amended, H.R. 4310, the FY 2013 National Defense Authorization Act. Textile industry representatives praised Kissell for his leadership in identifying the loophole and acting quickly to close it.

“Congressman Larry Kissell came to Congress to fight on behalf of workers in North Carolina and across our nation. He proved it again by successfully offering an Amendment to the Defense Authorization bill that would ensure that procurement contracts funded by taxpayers are benefitting U.S. businesses and their workers,” said Cass Johnson, President of the National Council of Textile Organizations.

“In this case, Rep. Kissell identified a loophole that would allow Chinese yarns and fabrics as opposed to U.S. inputs to be used in the manufacture of uniforms to outfit the Afghan army and police. On behalf of our textile manufacturers, we salute Congressman Kissell and all of his efforts to ensure that textile manufacturers are not shut out of Department of Defense procurement.”

Kissell spent 27 years working in textiles before being elected to Congress. He serves as Co-Chair of the House Textile Caucus alongside Rep. Howard Coble (NC-06). Kissell has also advocated for extending the Berry Amendment to the Department of Homeland Security.

"On behalf of everyone associated with the U.S. textile industry, I want to thank Congressman Larry Kissell for his outstanding leadership in the ongoing fight to close loopholes in the defense procurement system that damage U.S. manufacturers and workers,”said Augustine Tantillo, Executive Director of the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition.

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