Bulletin I - 2015

 

TPA, TPP and Uncertain Trade
Policy Progress

Jon Fee – Alston & Bird LLP
March 6, 2015

 
 

The recent resolution of the attempt to block Homeland Security funding might allow closer attention to a Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill.  TPA would pave the way for approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).  But the terms some lawmakers might accept or insist upon in TPA legislation are not decided, TPP negotiations are not yet concluded, and prospects for near-term passage of TPA and adoption of the TPP are therefore far from certain.

 

TPA is “fast track” authority for adoption of free trade agreements.  The most immediate candidate for TPA treatment is the TPP.  Next would be the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the United States and the European Union.  TPA would require lawmakers to vote up or down on TPP and TTIP, shortly after the president presented each deal to Congress, under expedited procedures that would not allow filibustering in the Senate or the addition of amendments in either the Senate or the House. 

 
     

The rationale for TPA is that it allows the administration to negotiate and sign free trade agreements with other countries without concern that Congress will try to change the terms after the deals are signed.

 

Last year, it looked like TPA legislation might get passed long before conclusion of the ongoing TPP talks.  Interested senators introduced a bipartisan bill, but the effort lost momentum when a key cosponsor, former Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) left the Senate to accept his appointment as U.S. ambassador to China.  The proposed bill fell apart for sure when members of the president’s own party, including former House Speaker

 

Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), spoke against the bill, some complaining that the administration was conducting TPP negotiations without enough oversight.

 

As the gap narrows between consideration of TPA and conclusion of the TPP talks, TPA legislation now seems more like a referendum on the TPP.  Indeed, if TPA legislation is supposed to allow Congress to assert its influence over trade policy by setting goals for future trade deals, TPA becomes less meaningful as negotiations continue without it.  Some lawmakers are frustrated by this erosion of congressional influence, which could affect their willingness to support TPA on any terms.

 
 
 
 
 

Language for TPA legislation is not even final.  Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) suggests language that would let Congress deny fast track consideration if the TPP doesn’t meet TPA objectives.  Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) favors more conventional TPA terms.  More ominously, some members of both parties want to include a currency manipulation feature under which the United States could retaliate with punitive duties or other measures if TPP members, such as Vietnam, unfairly manipulate exchange rates to enhance their exports.  Opponents say such a feature is inconsistent with free trade principles and has no place in TPA.

 

Conservative House Republicans characterize TPA as a “power grab” by President Obama, likening TPA to the president’s immigration policy, and could break ranks with the Republican leadership, which generally favors TPA and TPP.  Coupled with lackluster support from Democrats (whose labor union supporters oppose TPA and TPP, particularly because Vietnam forbids the formation of labor organizations), a conservative revolt in the House could arguably prevent passage of either TPA or TPP legislation for the remainder of the president’s term.

 

Congressional inactivity could also stall TPA and the TPP, despite clear support from both the White House and Republican leaders.  Already, Congress allowed the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) to expire without renewal nearly two years ago, and it will likely allow the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) to expire without renewal later this year. 

 

The Treasury Secretary recently notified Congress of the need to raise the debt ceiling by mid-March, raising the possibility of another disruptive debt ceiling crisis that would delay all legislation, including TPA and the TPP.

 

The terms of the TPP itself are not final, either.  The next meeting of members’ trade ministers was supposed to occur in March but was pushed back to mid-April to allow time for a less formal negotiators’ meeting scheduled for mid-March in Hawaii.  The Hawaii meeting is allegedly the last such meeting and negotiations are supposed to be wrapped up at the ministerial meeting.  Considerable skepticism exists about whether these will be the “last” meetings.  Each negotiators’ meeting since December 2013 was billed as the “last” such meeting.  Already, sources say that some contentious issues will not be resolved until the “last” ministerial meeting, whenever that happens.  Any suggestion that there will be a “last” ministerial meeting in April was contradicted by Canada’s recent announcement that it would not make final concessions on TPP agriculture issues until after the United States passes TPA.

 

The Hawaii meeting will include talks on rules of origin, intellectual property, state owned enterprises, investment, environment and market access.  At last report, Vietnam still had not conceded U.S. proposals for apparel origin rules, although it is expected that the TPP will follow the yarn forward model of previous U.S. free trade agreements.

 

Unofficial reports say that duties on some non-sensitive apparel meeting this standard will be immediately reduced to free, duties on some other apparel will be decreased in 20 percent increments over five years, and duties on sensitive apparel will initially be reduced by 35 to 50 percent and will remain unchanged for a period of 10 to 15 years before they are reduced to free.   But it is not clear whether Vietnam, the greatest beneficiary of TPP’s apparel provisions, has yet accepted these terms.

 

The White House and many congressional and business leaders hope to see the TPP talks concluded and TPA and TPP legislation enacted this year.  But the terms of each are unfinished and the timing of each is uncertain.  The ideal sequence would be the passage of TPA, followed by the conclusion of TPP talks, the signing of the TPP, the presentation of the TPP to Congress under TPA terms, and the passage of legislation enacting the TPP.  All of these steps could be completed in the next few months.  But the reality of American politics is that, even if TPP negotiations conclude promptly, the necessary legislative steps could drag on toward, or past, the end of 2015.  The next year is the 2016 presidential election year, when attention may turn away from trade.  It is possible in this political environment that none of the necessary steps will conclude until after the inauguration of the country’s next president.

 
 
 
 

Plant:

1885 Alamac Road
P.O. Box 1347
Lumberton, NC 28359
Phone: (910) 618-2200
Fax:      (910)618-2292
Web Site: www.alamacknits.com

 

Contact name/number:

Mr. Mark Cabral
President
Office: (910) 618-2235
Cell:    (910) 734-5027
Email: mark.cabral@alamacusa.com

 

Mr. Jean Marie Scutari
Director of Merchandising & Marketing
Office: (910) 733 7370
Cell:    (203) 561 2307
Email:  jeanmarie@alamacusa.com

 

Mr. Renato Rosales
Sales Executive CAFTA Region
Office: (503) 224 31843
Cell:    (503) 785 45501
Email: renato.rosales@alamacusa.com

 

List of Senior Management:

Mr. Mark Cabral, President
Mr. Henry Griffin, VP Manufacturing
Ms. Doris Sampson, VP Planning
Mr. Robert Hester, Chief Financial Officer

 

History of Company:

The history of Alamac American Knits dates back to the mid 1940s when its co-founders, Alan Kaplan and Mac Thal started a small circular knitting operation in Indian Orchard, Massachusetts.  The company was relocated to Lumberton, NC in 1962 and was subsequently purchased by WestPoint Pepperell in 1969.

Today, Alamac is privately owned and is managed by an experienced group of managers, some of which are second-generation employees of Alamac.  The entire management team at Alamac has a vast knowledge of all aspects of apparel manufacturing.

 

Alamac has a 415,000 square foot facility situated on 193 acres in Lumberton, NC. We are logistically located on the I-95 / Highway 74 corridors, which is situated between two major seaports located at Wilmington, NC and Charleston, SC.  Our production capacity is in the range of 500,000 yards of finished fabric per week.  We are a vertical, made to order circular knit, dye, and finish manufacturer. We also offer commission dyeing and finishing services for both knits and woven fabrics. Alamac services a wide variety of end use markets. 

 
   
   
   

We are known for our extensive product capabilities in piece dye and yarn dye knit constructions, product integrity, and exceptional customer service.  Research and development is a primary focus to continually innovate and expand our product offerings.  We produce fabric made from a wide range of fibers including 100% polyester performance fibers, 100% cotton, and poly/cotton blends and novelty yarns such as tri-blends and mock twist heathers.

 

At Alamac, customer service means total satisfaction for our customers, our employees, and our suppliers.

 

Equipment listing:

  • Single knit 4 track raceway machines: 16 – 28 gauges
  • Automatic striper machines: 16 – 28 gauge
  • Double knits machines: 18 – 28 gauge
  • 8-lock interlock machines: 18 and 24 gauge
  • Fleece machines: 2-end and 3-end
  • Terry machines: 16 – 20 gauge
  • Rib machines: 14 and 18 gauge
  • Fleece machines: 2-end and 3-end
  • Fashion collars and welts

 

  • Jemco bleach range
  • Gaston County pressure jet dye machines
  • Sclavos Overflow dye machines
  • Then Air Flow pressure jet dye machines

 

  • Open width pin tenter finishing frames
  • Relax belt dryers
  • Tubular suction drum dryers
  • Tubular and open width compactors
  • Napping / sheering

 

Products:

Alamac’s single knit product capabilities include: Single knit jersey, novelty and texture stitches, meshes, feed stripes, automatic engineered stripes and jacquards, french terry, fleece and terry.  Our double knit capabilities include: interlock, jacquards, ponti-de-roma, cable knits, regular and flat back ribs, meshes, thermals, collars and welts.

 

End Uses:

Industrial rental uniforms, career apparel, protective apparel, performance apparel, base layer, golf, sportswear, childrenswear, school uniform, collegiate and sport apparel, military, and private label.

 
 
 

Plant:

3750 S. Broadway Place
Los Angeles, CA 90007
Phone: (323) 232-2061
Fax:      (323) 233-7751
Web Site: www.antexknitting.com

 

Contact name/number:

Mr. William Tenenblatt
President
Email: billt@antexknitting.com

  

Ms. Anna McMassey
Vice President of Merchandise and Design
Email:annam@antexknitting.com

 

List of Senior Management:

Mr. William Tenenblatt, President
Ms. Anna McMassey, Vice President
of Merchandise and Design

 

History of Company:

Antex Knitting Mills is a vertical knitting, dyeing, printing and finishing company established in Los Angeles in 1973.  The company produces approximately 1.5 million yards of fabric per week.  Its traditional business is to provide fashionable knitted fabrics to the junior, contemporary, and children's markets.  Several years ago, Antex added the Antex Premier Performance division to provide technical fabrics to the outdoor and active wear markets.

 

Antex prides itself on its flexibility in servicing its customers' needs in providing competitively priced, high quality fabrics and quick deliveries.  It is the company's goal to service the needs of the apparel industry by offering fabrics that appeal to the fashion, lifestyle, and performance driven consumer.

 
   
   
   

Highly trained staff is up to date on the latest advances in the industry and constantly strives to maintain and improve their level of expertise. OurR&D department can analyze and duplicate any fabric submitted to us. We also have an extensive knit and print line and are constantly creating new and exciting fabrics.

 

Products:

The Antex knitting department consists of 300 high-speed, multi-feed, state-of-the-art machines. The equipment, ranging from 14 to 38 cut machines, provides the capabilities to produce a wide range of fabrics including:

 

Interlocks, jersey, ribs, thermals, novelties (single/double), yarn-dyed stripes, fleece, french terry fabrics., wet printing on cellulosic fibers (reactive dyes, resist and discharge); on polyamide fibers (acid dyes for swimwear); on polyester fibers (disperse dyes); and pigment printing (all fibers).   Finishing processes are:  sueding, sanding, brushing, stain release, moisture management, water repellent, anti-microbial, UV protection, flame retardant.

 

End Uses:

T-shirts, sportswear, dresses, juniors, golf apparel, career uniform apparel, military, performance apparel, base layer underwear, team sports

 

 
 
 
 

Plant:

1881 Athens Hwy.
Jefferson, GA 30594
Phone: (706) 367-9834
Email:sales@buhleryarns.com
Fax:     (706) 367-9837
Web Site: www.buhleryarns.com

 

Contact name/number:

Mr, Marty Moran
President/CEO
Phone: +1 706 367-3900
Fax:      +1 706 367-9837
E-Mail: mmoran@buhleryarns.com

 

Mr. David Sasso
VP of International Sales
Phone: +1 706 367-3931
Fax:      +1 706 367-9837
E-Mail: dsasso@buhleryarns.com

 

Mr. Victor Almeida
Technical Support
Phone: +1 706 367-3934
Fax:      +1 706 367-9837
E-Mail: valmeida@buhleryarns.com

 

List of Senior Management:

Mr. Marty Moran, President /CEO
Mr. Russell Mims, Operations Manager
Ms. Kelly Ouellette, Sales & Customer
Service

Mr. David Sasso, Vice-president
International Sales

Mr. Victor Almeida, Textile Engineer &
Technical Support

 

History of Company:

The Industry Leader: Buhler Quality Yarns Corp. ensures the highest quality products backed by environmental sensitivity and around-the-clock support throughout your supply chain. Our distinctive portfolio offers Supima®, MicroTencel®, Micro Modal® and various blends fabricated to exceed expectations.

 

Additional yarns include fashion slub yarns in Supima and Supima Micro Modal; all offer comfort, durability, and strength. Bring your product to market backed by decades of experience, dependable industry relationships and unsurpassed technical support. Our yarns are spun in the USA and comply with all USA trade agreements. For more information, visit www.buhleryarns.com

 
   
   
   

Products:

 

Buhler Quality Yarns Corp. - Ringspun100% Supima cotton combed Ring Spun. US Supima Ring spun is perfect for products including high-grade color-woven fabrics for shirts and blouses, high-end T-shirts and golf shirts, bed linens, and intimate apparel and lingerie.

 

 

Buhler Quality Yarns Corp. - Micro Modal  MicroModal from Ring Spun, MicroModal Supima Ring Spun, MicroTencel Ring Spun. US Supima MicroModal for luxurious intimate apparel, lingerie, sports- and casual-wear, high-grade fabrics for blouses and shirts, along with bed linen and fiber-proof fabrics.

 

End Uses:

  • Weaving (warp and Filling)
  • Knitting (Circular, Seamless, Warp)
  • Cotton sewing thread
 
 
 

Plant:

14 Commerce Drive
Meadow Creek Industrial Park
Gaffney, SC 29340
Phone: (864) 488-2824
Fax:     (864) 488-0488
Web Site: www.carolinacotton.com

 

Contact name/number:

Mr. Bryan Ashby,
Vice President, Sales & Marketing
Phone: (864) 488-2824
Fax:     (864) 488-0488
E-mail: bryan@carolinacotton.com

 

Mr. Stacey Bridges
Sales Manager
Phone: (864) 488-2824 ext.108
Fax:     (864) 488-0488
E-mail: sbridges@carolinacotton.com

 

List of Senior Management:

Mr. Page Ashby, President
Mr. Bryan Ashby, Vice President,
Sales & Marketing

Mr. Hunter Ashby, Operations Manager
Mr. Stacey Bridges, Sales Manager

 

History of Company:

Carolina Cotton Works, Inc. (CCW) opened for business in March of 1995. Starting out in a new building and all new equipment, we soon earned a reputation of having one of the finest dyehouses in the United States. With continued success each year since, CCW has reinvested in new equipment and systems to allow us to stand alone as the most efficient dyehouse in the country. Although we continue to offer commission bleaching and dyeing services, the growth of our business has proven to be in the finished fabric package business. Most recently, CCW is pleased to be recognized as a bluesign® system partner.

 

Experience - Quality - Dependability - Three necessary components of strong customer/vendor relationships have been the key building blocks of Carolina Cotton Works. With the experience of company president Page Ashby, comes knowledge of yarn spinning through cutting. We have built solid relationships with several major yarn spinners and knitters in the United States. We have the resources and technical abilities to become the premier U.S. fabric supplier for apparel producers both domestic and international.

 
   
   
   

Using the state of the art equipment in our 120,000 square foot building, Carolina Cotton Works can produce up to 450,000 pounds per week of bleaching and piece dyeing.

 

Equipment listing:

JEMCO III 2000 CBR; (7) 1000 lb. Scholl Rapidstar Jets; (1) 80 lb. Scholl Sample Jet; (5) Fong Horizontal Dye Jets; (2) Santex Relaxed Belt Dryers; (3) Tubetex Pak-Nit II Compactors; RFG Napper; Mario Crosta Brushing Machine; Texima Natural Gas Tenter Frame; Strahm Open Width Compactor; (2) Tubetex 4-Roll Pads; Santex Shrinking Calendar.

 

Products:

All types of cotton and poly cotton knits and wovens, both body sizes and open width. Many synthetics including circular knits and wrap knits, Interlock, French Terry, Thermal Performance Fabrics, and ANSI Fabrics. Other fiber types dyed include nylon and modacrylic.

 

End Uses:

Customers use CCW's fabric to manufacture outerwear products such as t-shirts, rib tops, golf shirts, sweatshirts and sweatpants. Underwear products include briefs, t-shirts and thermal underwear. We also process synthetic fabrics used for moisture transport performance apparel and team sports uniform apparel.

 
 
 
 
 

Prepared by:
Economic Services - National Cotton Council

 

The National Cotton Council’s planting intentions survey, released in early February placed the estimated 2015/16 U.S. cotton plantings at 9.43 million acres, down  14.6 % from 2014. Upland planted area is estimated to have decreased 15.2% to 9.19 million acres. Extra long staple planted areas is estimated to have increased 22.8% to 236,000 acres..  

 
     
   
 
 
Antex Knitting Buhler Quality Yarns Corp.Cap Yarns, Inc.Carolina Cotton Works, Inc. - CCWCentral Textiles/Cotswold IndustriesContempora FabricsFrontier Spinning Mills, Inc.Hamrick Mills, Inc.Keer America CorporationMilliken & CompanyParkdaleSwisstex DirectZagis USA