The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, signed into law by President Barack Obama on February 13, 2009, includes “Buy American” provisions that will preserve or create jobs in the textile industry, say industry representatives. The Act requires two federal agencies exempt from the World Trade Organization Agreement on Government Procurement, the Transportation Security Administration and the U.S. Coast Guard, to purchase domestically produced uniforms, ensuring that more federal dollars flow into the American textile industry. In addition, infrastructure spending will involve increases in geotextiles, which are used in highway construction.
Karl Spilhaus, president of the National Textile Association, wants to see other national security agencies, in addition to the TSA and Coast Guard, be declared exempt from WHO restrictions, a move that would increase the flow of work to domestic suppliers. However, as written the Act will preserve or create 5,000 jobs in the textile industry for every $100 million spent annually, according to Auggie Tantillo, executive director of the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition. For more information, visit www.recovery.gov.