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Buy American Provision
China Increases Tax Rebate
CCC Accuses Retailers of Using Unethical Suppliers
Ice Fishing for Valentines Day
Macy's to Cut 7000 Jobs
Researchers Study Nonwoven Fabrics
Granny Panty Boom
Barney's NY for Sale - Again
Man Fined For Cross-dressing
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February 15, 2009
Buy American Provision in
The US textile sector lost 10,300 jobs in December - prompting renewed calls from textile groups for a 'Buy
America' provision in Barack Obama's $900bn economic stimulus package.
Lower retail demand is being blamed for December's job losses. North Carolina was the hardest hit, with 13
textile plants closed during the last year.
"We need to concentrate on getting US manufacturing plants running again," said Cass Johnson, president of
the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO).
He described as "imperative" the addition of the Kissell amendment and the Buy American portions of the
Senate stimulus bill are "imperative".
"These two provisions will help to keep textile and apparel workers employed during these terrible
The Kissell amendment requires all textile and apparel products used in uniforms for the Transportation
Security Administration would be made in the US with 100% US content.
The "Buy American" language would mean all iron, steel, and manufactured goods used in public works
funded by the stimulus are made in the US unless an existing trade obligation allows contract bidders to
use foreign-made products.
Last week the US Senate rejects efforts to strip the 'Buy American' clause from the stimulus package.
China Increases Tax Rebate
China has increased the tax rebate for textile and
garment exports by a further 1%, the ministry of finance said February 5.
The increase, from 14 to 15%, was smaller than had been expected. A report in local newspaper Shanghai
Securities News had predicted the rebates could go up to as much as 17%.
However analysts said that the rebate has been raised three times since last August and the combined effect
will benefit the industry.
"The 1% increase could add several billion yuan's worth of total profits," said Li Xin, analyst at CITIC
The textile sector is considered one of China's 'pillar industries' but it has suffered from declining
Figures from the National Bureau of Statistics show that for the first 11 months of 2008, profits for
textile firms fell 1.8% compared with the same period a year ago. It is the first decline in profits in ten
years. Growth in export revenue has also slowed.
The government also promised to boost domestic demand but Guo Haiyan, analyst at China International Capital
Corp, said such a move would be difficult.
"The industry is facing contraction in both the export and domestic markets. You cannot create demand in the
The government will also allocate funds to textile producers to upgrade technology and develop domestic
brands, while pushing to phase out idle capacity and polluting equipment.
"They want to make the industry more independent in textile machinery and to help establish big brands
with international influence," said Guo.
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CCC Accuses Retailers of
Using Unethical Suppliers
Supermarket retailers in the Netherlands including
Carrefour, Tesco, Aldi, Lidl, and Wal-Mart are facing new allegations of workers' rights violations in their
According to a new report released by Netherlands-based pressure group the Clean Clothes
Campaign (CCC), workers in their garment supply chains face "increasing poverty, appalling conditions, and
serious workers rights violations".
CCC research in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Thailand was published this week in "Cashing In: Giant
retailers, purchasing practices, and working conditions in the garment industry".
Workers at factories supplying the retailers allegedly told researchers they worked up to 90-hour weeks, did
unpaid overtime, for wages "so low that families are malnourished".
"At the same time suppliers revealed how the supermarkets are cranking up the pressure to deliver
faster and produce cheaper - a model that makes a mockery of the social commitments made by these
companies," a statement by CCC added.
A statement from US retailer Wal-Mart said: "Wal-Mart maintains a robust ethical standards program and
treats any allegation of impropriety seriously. We understand the complexities of global sourcing in the
garment industry and have taken numerous pro-active steps to monitor that the apparel in our stores is
manufactured in a socially responsible manner."
Wal-Mart also noted that it has committed all suppliers to provide the name and location of every
factory they use this year, and said it works with industry peers in forums such as the Global Social
Compliance Program (GSCP).
"Wal-Mart will continue to play a leadership role in the industry through its responsible sourcing
initiatives," the company added.
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US Reports Increase in January
US retail sales in January were marginally up on December's figures as shoppers targeted post-Christmas
bargains, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF).
The seasonally adjusted figures for January were 0.5% higher than those for December, the NRF said, with
sales at clothing retailers up 1.6%.
However, total retail sales were 2.1% down on last January's figures, while clothing receipts were 8%
down, according to unadjusted figures.
Meanwhile, January retail sales figures released by the US Commerce Department suggested a 1% seasonally
adjusted rise on December, and a 9% fall on last year's revenues.
"While 2009 got off to a surprising start, it's going to be difficult for retailers to maintain this
momentum," said NRF chief economist Rosalind Wells.
"We expect the first half of the year to present challenges, while giving way to sustained growth in
the fourth quarter."
EU Simplifies Labeling Laws
The European Commission (EC) is to make it easier for companies to launch new
fibers by combining three European Union (EU) labeling laws into one unified
piece of legislation.
Speeding up the registration process for new fibers should, the Commission says, encourage innovation in
the textile and clothing sector and allow consumers to benefit from new products more quickly.
The revision of EU legislation on Textile Names and Labeling was announced in 2006, and consultations
with the industry were carried out last year.
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