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Textile News

Funds Approved For Textile Customs Agents

James A. Morrissey, Washington Correspondent

A continuing resolution funding virtually all federal government agencies until March 2009 included $9.5 million for additional textile and apparel customs enforcement officers. The funds are designed to help the Customs and Border Protection crack down on illegal transshipments of textiles and apparel.

Approving the funding via a continuing resolution was necessary because Congress has failed to act on appropriations for the entire fiscal year (FY) 2009 for all agencies except Defense, Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs.

Rep. Robin Hayes, R-N.C., who succeeded in inserting the customs agents funds when the bill was pending in the House of Representatives, said, “Getting money specifically to crack down on illegal textile shipments is a win for our domestic industry,” adding that the funding is “crucial to continue the battle against massive amounts of transshipped textiles that enter our country every day and place a tremendous burden on our domestic industry and its workforce.”

The $9.5 million will provide funding for an additional 72 customs agents for several years.

Funding for the government’s long-standing support for textile research conducted through the colleges and universities that comprise the National Textile Center (NTC) and through the Textile Clothing Technology Corp. ([TC] 2) was left in limbo by Congress’s failure to act on full FY2009 funding for the Department of Commerce. At the present time, how much will be appropriated and in what manner remains in question. In any event, new rules governing appropriations will force the NTC funding to take on another form, with Congress determining how funds will be allocated between each of the NTC colleges and universities.

October 1, 2008

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