Coalition vows to be kingmaker in 2004
By Staff -- Home Textiles Today, 2/2/2004 12:00:00 AM
SPARTANBURG, S.C. —
A consortium of textile trade groups has vowed to get every worker in the industry — almost 1 million — to vote for the candidate they feel most strongly supports maintaining import quotas from China and preventing the loss of U.S. jobs overseas.
Allen Gant of Glen Raven Inc. said, "This industry is prepared to work hard on behalf of any candidate that makes an ironclad commitment on maintaining quotas on imports from China. We are also prepared to work hard against any candidate that will not defend our workers against these illegally subsidized imports. This industry is determined that we will make a difference in the 2004 election."
Representatives from the trade groups said that unfair practices included "currency manipulation, direct state subsidies, the use of 'no-cost' loans from Chinese banks and government 'rebates' for exported textile products."
Lewis Gossett, president, SCMA, said the economic effect on South Carolina has been dramatic. He said the issue goes beyond the ability of textile businesses to make money, noting the effect on families and communities when factories close down.
"I see evidence that the next generation will be the first to do worse than the previous generation did," said Gossett. "You are seeing communities die because manufacturing jobs are going overseas, and the end result is devastating."
Trade groups involved in the announcement include the: American Textile Manufacturers Institute, National Textile Association, American Yarn Spinners Association, American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, National Cotton Council of America, and American Fiber Manufacturers Association.
Jonathan Stevens, vice chairman of the National Textile Association and CEO of Ames Textile Corporation said, "By Nov. 2, Election Day, every textile worker in this country will have received a scorecard ranking both local and national candidates on whether they are for our workers or against them. At the top of the scorecard, the message will be: Vote — Your job next year depends on it."
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