Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis met with Los Angeles apparel and textile executives to urge them to take advantage of the various free-trade agreements negotiated by the U.S. government. “Our mission in life is to grow exports that support new jobs,” says Marantis. The Trans-Pacific Partnership creates a huge opportunity for U.S. apparel exporters, according to Marantis, even though it has a yarn-forward provision. Industry leaders appreciated the visit, but other experts expressed concern about the Administration’s optimistic outlook. “The U.S. government needs to find some way to grant visas to the hundreds of illegal apparel sewing workers who populate many of the sewing contractors in town,” said Joe Rodriguez, executive director of the Garment Contractors Association of Southern California.