Textile States Weave Plans to Stall New Trade Pacts ; the Industry, Ravaged by Job Losses, Wants Protections before Backing a Push for More 'Free Trade' Deals

By Gail Russell Chaddock writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, September 1, 2001 | Go to article overview

Textile States Weave Plans to Stall New Trade Pacts ; the Industry, Ravaged by Job Losses, Wants Protections before Backing a Push for More 'Free Trade' Deals


Gail Russell Chaddock writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


Charles Hayes never changed his small office, even after he made it to the top of Guilford Mills Inc. He liked hearing the din of the big knitting looms on the other side of the wall as he worked. And he hated shutting them down.

"This is what Congress and the strength of the dollar has done to our industry," he said, shrugging off a tear as he walked through a nearly empty mill for the first time since closing it last March.

Now, as President Bush presses Congress for authority to negotiate new free-trade agreements, Mr. Hayes and the industry he represents are becoming an increasingly vocal force in opposition.

More than 74,000 US textile jobs have disappeared in the past 12 months alone - the biggest period of job loss in the industry since the demobilization after World War II. While the trend is a long- term one, the sped-up pace worries industry insiders, who say a lot more cuts are on the way.

Here in Greensboro, N.C., Guilford Mills now employs 600 workers, down from 1,600 in January 2000. By one local study, fewer than half the laid-off workers have found new jobs.

The silent looms signal the problem the White House is having convincing Congress and the public that more free trade will create more good jobs.

"This is a very tough time for the textile industry, and it's been tough for the last few years," says Larry Sabato, a political scientist at the University of Virginia. "Lowering trade barriers is good for the economy overall, but some people suffer severely on account of it. And the textile industry is right there at the top."

The industry that virtually dictated US trade policy in the 19th century has lost most of its political clout in an economy increasingly dominated by services. Until recently, the Congressional Textile Caucus - down to a handful of representatives from a few Southern states - rarely met.

For one thing, even lawmakers with a big textile presence in their districts could point to jobs created by incoming foreign firms to offset the losses in textiles.

But with the US economy at a standstill, cries for protecting manufacturing jobs are making inroads in Congress.

When Republican leaders in the House tried to get a quick vote on President Bush's request for trade-promotion authority (TPA) last July, they found they did not have enough support.

By some estimates, the measure remains too close to call as a fall vote approaches.

One reason is people such as Hayes.

Currently president of the American Textile Manufacturers Institute, the industry's main lobby group, he has been a longtime supporter of free trade. He worked out details leading up to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with US trade officials over his dining room table in Greensboro, N.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Textile States Weave Plans to Stall New Trade Pacts ; the Industry, Ravaged by Job Losses, Wants Protections before Backing a Push for More 'Free Trade' Deals
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.