In support of Southside Virginia's textile industry and its workers, Senator Mark Warner organized a bipartisan group of his Senate colleagues in sending a letter to President Obama urging additional flexibility in country-of-origin rules during this weekend's upcoming international trade talks in Singapore.
Senator Warner has received support from American industry groups including the Retail Industry Leaders Association.
"It is critical for U.S. trade policy to measure success by how it contributes to the competitiveness of U.S. companies, and the workers they employ," said Stephanie Lester, vice president for international trade at RILA. "This is the clear message from Congress to President Obama. They want to see a successful TPP agreement that grows trade and investment in all sectors, including the apparel sector. To achieve that goal, the letters call on President Obama to offer more flexible rules and immediate duty-free market access for apparel. We applaud Congressmen Erik Paulsen and Mike Thompson, and Senator Mark Warner for their leadership to support a comprehensive, high-standard TPP agreement that maximizes opportunities to create new U.S. exports and U.S. jobs."
In addition to trade association report, American companies such as Hanes have also expressed support for Senator Warner's effort.
"We appreciate Sen. Warner's leadership on this important trade issue. More flexibility in the rules will allow U.S brands like Hanes to export as well as remain competitive globally while continuing to support quality jobs here in Virginia and across the country," said Jerry Cook, Hanes Vice President Government and Trade Relations.
A copy of the letter is below: