December 29, 2008

End of the American Mill Town

In a few weeks the special safeguard provision protecting textile production in the USA will expire on 12/31/2008. The safeguard on textiles allows Washington to put quotas and other restrictions on textile imports from China. It was put into the US-China trade agreement, codified into law as the China Trade Relations Act, in order to placate political interests of Congressmen and Senators from mill town districts where unskilled textile jobs predominate. The textile industry in the USA has had seven years to prepare stategies, improve products, and make adjustments in response to textiles imported from China by American businesses seeking the best price and quickest production. Many if not all USA textile manufacturers will not survive competition from China in a true free trade environment. The American consumer will benefit from even lower prices for textile products. The mill towns of the South and Midwest will either adapt or die out. And that is not a bad thing.

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