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TEXTILE LEADER CITES NEED TO SUPPORT EDUCATION IN SOUTH CAROLINA

 TEXTILE LEADER CITES NEED TO SUPPORT EDUCATION IN SOUTH CAROLINA
 /ADVANCE/ SEA ISLAND, Ga., May 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The president of the textile industry's national trade association today urged South Carolina textile executives to "continue and expand your support for education" in order to improve competitiveness and address a major national problem.
 Addressing the annual meeting of the South Carolina Textile Manufacturers Association (SCTMA) here, M.L. Cates Jr., of Arkwright Mills in Spartanburg, S.C., president of the American Textile Manufacturers Institute (ATMI), said there are 27,000 textile employees and their families enrolled in company-sponsored literacy programs and 28,000 in technical training.
 "Most of our companies have programs to upgrade the skills of our workers, and we have partnerships with elementary, secondary and high schools which add a new dimension to the education of our youngsters," Cates said.
 "We are particularly excited about the way some textile companies are working with school systems to introduce the concepts of Total Quality Management. It works with business; it can work for our schools."
 He said that in addition to education programs, the industry is investing $2 billion a year in modernization to increase productivity and help make the industry competitive.
 Cates warned that the employment and other social and economic contributions the textile industry historically has made to South Carolina are being threatened by rising imports.
 He expressed particular concern about the outcome of international trade negotiations currently underway in Geneva, and warned that the textile provisions can cost South Carolina thousands of jobs.
 "The textile portion of the agreement under consideration would hand over our market on a silver platter to China, India and Pakistan," Cates said.
 In order to avoid that, he called for a 15-year phaseout of the quotas covering textile trade rather than the 10-year phaseout that has been proposed. He also said other nations must be required to open their markets to exports from the United States if our country is to eliminate its quotas.
 Cates said the current thrust of the textile package in the so- called Uruguay Round of international trade negotiations in Geneva "casts a large shadow" over the proposed North American Free Trade Agreement involving the United States, Mexico and Canada.
 "The North American Free Trade Agreement will work for textiles and apparel only if the Chinese and other Far East countries aren't allowed to increase their share of our market so as to take away any benefits that would come to North American countries from the agreement.
 "Modifying the textile part of the Uruguay Round proposal would be a marvelous opportunity for the Bush administration to show some real concern about U.S. jobs and our manufacturing base," he said.
 -0- 5/16/92/1100
 /CONTACT: Jim Morrissey, 912-638-5106, or Deborah E. Anderson, 202-862-0513 (office) or 703-476-6436 (after hours), both of ATMI/ CO: American Textile Manufacturers Institute ST: South Carolina IN: TEX SU:


EA-BN -- AT003 -- 0692 05/15/92 11:15 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 15, 1992
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