Bill introduced to help U.S. cotton shirt makers
Rep. Charles Rangel, D.-N.Y., on Thursday introduced the Cotton Trust Fund Act (H.R. 6265) in the House, a bill he said is designed to help U.S. cotton shirt manufacturers better compete with imports.
Every day millions of shirts enter the U.S. duty free, while American shirt manufacturers are subject to strict entry quotas and duties as high as 13.5 percent once the quota is filled, the congressman’s office said.
The original Cotton Trust Fund was introduced as part of 2006 Tax Relief and Health Care Act, a combination of duty reductions refunds to U.S. shirt manufacturers. The fund expired in 2009 and since then U.S. manufacturers have been taxed an estimated $3.8 million.
“We need to act now to end this tax inequity to prevent American manufacturers from simply moving offshore,” Rangel said. “This is especially important considering the current economic climate."
Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., has introduced similar legislation that the Senate Finance Committee recently passed and awaits full Senate action.
Rangel said his bill also protects the domestic cotton growing and yarn industries that are dependent on export markets.
“It is important to note how important our promise is to Americans to provide fair trade, not just free trade,” Rangel said. “I urge my colleagues in Congress to pass this bill now.”
Organizations supporting the Cotton Trust Fund include the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, American Apparel & Footwear Association, Supima Cotton (American Pima Cotton Growers), National Council of Textile Organizations, Advertising Specialty Institute, National Textile Association and the Service Employees International Union.
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