11-28-2012, 06:08 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Twixt Hell & Highwater
Once again, Lonestar opens his yap before engaging his brain.
The American textile industry is slowly dying, and U.S. free trade policy is killing it.
NBC local affiliate WSLS 10 in Roanoke, Virginia, recently detailed the loss of Dan River Inc., a textile factory going out of business because it can no longer compete against foreign competition.
The company is hardly unique, however. The entire industry has been decimated by American trade policies that allow for an influx of cheap imports.
The textile industry has been a historically vital part of the nation’s economy. Employing over 600,000 Americans in 2005 alone, the industry contributed $23 billion to the nation’s gross domestic product. Competing with nations like China and Vietnam due to America’s trade policy has taken its toll on the industry, though.
From 1997 to 2010, 1,298 textile mills closed, according to the National Council of Textile Organizations. Most of those closings were in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Virginia, but factories across the country have also closed. And in the five year period between 2004 and 2009, a seasonally adjusted 39.4 percent of the industry’s jobs were lost.
“We like to ask a simple question,” Auggie Tantillo, executive director of the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, told WSLS. “Is a country made great by what it consumes or what it produces?”
American policymakers apparently decided that the former was more important. In 1994, officials signed the Agreement on Textile and Clothing. The agreement phased out export restrictions over the course of 10 years. It allowed the first wave of cheap imports from undeveloped countries.
Later that year, the U.S. also entered the North American Free Trade Agreement. It allowed for cheap imports from Mexico. It also gave American textile companies incentive to move production south of the border at a lower cost while still having duty-free access to the U.S. market.
“The Washington gurus decided that it was in the best interest of the country to sacrifice textile and garment industries for high-tech industries,” Linwood Wright, a former company official, told WSLS.
What killed all those people? Greed.
Last edited by Rohirrim; 11-28-2012 at 06:21 AM..