Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) has reintroduced the Textile Enforcement and Security Act (TESA) in an updated form, replacing an earlier version of the bill.
In summary, the Congressional Record described the new legislation as “A bill to provide the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the Department of the Treasury with authority to more aggressively enforce customs and trade laws relating to textile and apparel articles, and for other purposes.”
The legislation gives expanded authority to US Customs to tag fraudulent textile and apparel products, thus providing additional protection for the more than half-a-million US textile and apparel industry jobs, while also providing protection for US consumers and manufacturers.
National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) Board Member Jim Chesnutt, Chairman, President, and CEO of National Spinning in Washington, NC, hailed the passing of the bill.
“This important legislation gives U.S. Customs and Border Protection the resources it needs to better enforce the rules that govern textiles in our free trade agreements,” said Mr. Chesnutt.
“Not only would this bill ensure that we have more and better trained import specialists at our ports of entry, but it would also create important programs for tracking textile inputs and the potential bad actors who would skirt our laws and hurt American workers,” he said in a press release from the NCTO,” he said.
There were additional commercial benefits anticipated as a result of the new bill.
“Legislation such as TESA will help ensure that US workers and manufacturers have an opportunity to fairly compete in markets both at home and abroad,” said NCTO president Auggie Tantillo.