Today, Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell (AL-07) released the following statement regarding American Apparel's recent announcement on impending layoffs:
"I am deeply disappointed in the recent decision by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) not to award the Army Combat Uniform coats contract to American Apparel Inc. I am especially frustrated by this recent decision in light of my office's continued efforts to strengthen DLA's critical partnership with American Apparel. At my request, key DLA procurement officials visited American Apparel headquarters in Selma in April 2012 to tour its facility and discuss DLA's procurement process with company management. During this visit we engaged in intense dialogue about the future of the military uniform industrial base and how companies like American Apparel can remain competitive. While I had hoped this meeting would have resulted in a more meaningful outcome, DLA's recent decision reflects the same industry frustrations and concerns with its current procurement process.
This decision will have profound economic implications for the more than 250 hardworking women and men affected by the impending lay-offs. I strongly support American Apparel's protest petition to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and I am leading an Alabama Delegation letter requesting a thorough and expedited review of American Apparel's protest. On Friday, September 28th I spoke directly with DLA officials and expressed my deep concerns with the procurement process that lead to this decision. This week, I will issue a letter to DLA further elaborating on my objection to the manner in which the procurement decision was made.
My office will continue to be a strong and vigilant advocate for protecting these vital jobs in our community and ensuring fairness and equity in the military procurement process."