NEW YORK — NAFTA and GATT are forcing the American textile industry to work harder to maintain its edge, according to Bruce Roberts, executive director of the Textile Distributors Association.
Roberts made the comments at a UJA Federation fundraiser at New York’s posh Rainbow Room recently, where he was presented with an inscribed shofar for his work on behalf to that organization.
“With NAFTA and the passage of the GATT agreement, this industry has seen more changes in the last two years than in the 40 before,” Roberts said. “We’ve got to roll up our sleeves and make sure we get our share of this business.”
Roberts said the U.S. textile industry is well positioned to compete. “We are on the cutting edge of technology, we’ve invested heavily in machinery and equipment, and we deliver a quality product on time,” he said.
Roberts’ comments contrasted with the generally reflective theme of the fundraiser, which raised pledges of roughly $1.2 million for the UJA and a special program to help Russian Jews emigrate to Israel.
JPS textile executive Carl Rosen, who introduced Roberts and several other speakers, referred to the so-called ethnic cleansing in Bosnia as a “mini Holocaust,” adding that the Bosnian situation is particularly disturbing “in a year where we commemorate the Holocaust.”
More than 350 people attended the fundraiser, according to the UJA.