Thursday, August 14, 2003

Unmentionable tariffs: They're calling for it here in textile country.
In 2001, the WTO admitted China as a member. As a condition of China joining the international organization, it agreed to allow the United States to temporarily cap imports of Chinese textile goods that cause harm to the U.S. market.

It's that agreement -- the so-called "China safeguard" -- that the U.S. industry is seeking to employ to limit imports of Chinese-made bras, nightgowns and robes, gloves and knit fabric.

Since the spring, the industry has been pushing the Bush administration to reimpose the import limits that were lifted last year on those four categories.
Pillowtex, who just laid off 4,800 workers, makes sheets and towels, not negligie, but that doesn't matter. It's still China's fault.
In Kannapolis on Wednesday, former Pillowtex workers who gathered at their union hall on Cannon Boulevard said free trade destroyed their jobs.

"Something should have been done a long time ago to preserve the jobs," said Flora Jordan, 67, who worked in the sheet department at Pillowtex's Concord plant.
It's gonna be tough for W. to carry that compassionate conservative label through the Carolinas in '04, but it won't affect how the state goes. But if the anit-globablists can make enough headlines, it will spill over into the national media and affect the election in swing states. The problem is, will there even be a pro-free trade candidate in the mix?

FYI, it's hard to look some textile worker who just got laid off in the eye and say, "Sorry, but your job is a small sacrifice for the greater economic good." But when it comes to foreign direct investment the U.S. is a huge recipient, the largest in the world (at least until 2002 when our stagnant economy cut the legs out from under us. I expect it's a temporary decline.). The protectionism that saves a textile or steel worker's job costs somebody else's. Until someone solves that problem, globalism is here to stay and some sectors will be hurt. How do you think I feel? White collar MBA type jobs are being exported at a faster rate than anyone else these days. When I finish this degree I'll be looking for a job in Delhi.

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