Hagan, who is the co-chair of the Senate Textile Caucus, made the announcement at Unifi Manufacturing, a leading producer of multi-filament polyester and nylon textured yarns and related raw materials. Headquartered in Greensboro, Unifi also operates manufacturing facilities in Yadkinville, Madison and Reidsville.
“Illegal trafficking of yard and duty evasion is on the rise, which has impacted the U.S. textile industry’s ability to compete in the global marketplace,” Hagan said. “The TESA bill cracks down on this illegal activity. North Carolina is one of the top textile employers in the country.
“When American workers are given a level playing field, they produce the best products in the world,” she said. “But right now, our yarn and fabric producers in North Carolina and throughout the country are competing in an unfair trading environment that is costing American jobs. While our economy is still just beginning to recover, I refuse to let jobs and revenue dollars leave our shores because of insufficient enforcement resources. This bill will ensure our hardworking textile workers no longer suffer because of the illegal actions of foreign companies.”
During the last Congress, the bill was co-sponsored by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC). North Carolina Representatives Larry Kissell and Walter Jones introduced the House version.
“Specifically, this legislation will: Establish an electronic verification program that tracks yarn and fabric imports in countries operating under free trade agreements; Increase the number of textile and apparel verification specialists at the 15 largest U.S. ports that process textile and apparel imports; Increase textile staff at the Customs and Border Protection Agency headquarters and retarget them toward trade preference verifications. Headquarters staff has been significantly reduced over the last five years,” Hagan said.