“Foil participated in a conference call with several other textile
manufacturers to praise a provision in the new economic stimulus law that was
sponsored by Kissell, a Democrat from North Carolina..
“The measure is Kissell’s first to become law since becoming a member of
Congress last month. .
“It expands a rule that military uniforms be completely made and assembled in
the United States to textiles worn and used by Transportation Security
Administration officers, who monitor airports and other transportation systems
like trains and subways, and to the Coast Guard. .
“The fabric for TSA’s uniforms is already made in the United States, by
Milliken & com. in Spartanburg, S.C., but the pants and shirts are assembled
in Honduras and Mexicom..
“The number of jobs that would be shifted to the United States for TSA uniform
assembly would be difficult to calculate, but it’s likely to be 100 or fewer,
said Neal Waters, a vice president of the company that has the existing contract
to manage the TSA uniform program, a subsidiary of Greensboro-based VF Corp..
“It’s a fairly complex question,” he said, in part because the company’s line
workers work on several different contracts, not just the government
“The Kissell rule applies to all textile products such as body armor, holsters
and conveyer belts, not just clothing, said Lloyd Wood, a spokesman for the
American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition. .
“The TSA said it hadn’t calculated the cost of the change..
“About 50,000 TSA workers are given $150 a year to replace uniform pieces,
said agency spokesman Christopher White. Last year, at a cost of $12 million,
the agency completely revamped its uniforms to incorporate fabrics and colors
that were more friendly to weather conditions and stains, he said..
“The Coast Guard also would be covered by the Kissell rule, although it’s
unclear whether it uses any foreign sources to make its uniforms now, Wood
“Several “buy American” provisions in the $787 billion economic stimulus bill
have been criticized as protectionist by pro-business and free-trade
“President Obama has said he wants to be respectful of international trade
laws and make certain that such provisions don’t lead to a “downward
protectionist spiral that is very dangerous…”..”..”our survival..