TEXTILE STATES SEEK FEDERAL HELP

Byline: Joanna Ramey

WASHINGTON — Pleas from textile states to the Bush administration to help flagging mills keep coming.
The latest cry was issued Friday at a textile-industry summit in Dallas, N.C., where four southern governors signed a letter to President Bush containing calls for federal action. Govs. Mike Easley of North Carolina, Jim Hodges of South Carolina and Roy Barnes of Georgia, all Democrats, want Bush to make the following moves:
Direct the International Trade Commission to investigate illegal dumping of textile imports on the U.S. market and foreign markets with barriers to U.S. textile exports.
Give U.S. Customs more money and staff to combat textile import smuggling.
Have the U.S. Trade Representative consider the competitive advantages from foreign currency devaluations before allowing textile tariff cuts in future trade pacts.
Provide aid to unemployed textile workers to obtain two years of training and associate degrees and extend unemployment benefits to include health coverage.
Provide funding to southeastern states to study fields in which displaced textile workers should be trained.
Offer tax incentives to spur economic development in towns hit by textile industry decline.
Support textile industry research and development.
This is the latest effort among politicians to draw attention to the beleaguered textile sector, which has seen diminished job losses in the South.

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