Press Release

Congressman McHenry Sends Letter to President Obama Regarding Textile Rules Prior to Meeting with Vietnamese President

Congressman Patrick McHenry (NC-10) sent a letter to President Obama drawing attention letter to USTR on TPP prior to President's meeting with Vietnamese President
Congressman Patrick McHenry (NC-10) sent a letter to President Barack Obama expressing concerns of the American textile industry prior to Presidential meetings with Truong Tan Sang, the President of Vietnam.  The letter specifically draws attention to a letter sent July 10th to United States Trade Representative Michael Froman that called for continued support of strong textile rules during future rounds of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).    The letter to President Obama, which was cosigned by 3 other Members of Congress, discusses the need for a strong yarn forward rule of origin in the textile and apparel sections of TPP.   

Ongoing TPP negotiations are expected to be one of the main points of discussion between President Obama and President Sang when they meet in Washington Thursday.  In previous negotiations on TPP the Vietnamese government has advocated for changes to long standing textile rules that would benefit their state-owned textile industry.  If implemented, these rules would have a significant negative impact on the American textile industry.  In the July 10th letter to Ambassador Froman Congressman McHenry and 167 of his colleague outlined their concerns with the negotiations with Vietnam.

"It is imperative that President Obama review our letter to Ambassador Froman prior to tomorrow's meetings," said Congressman McHenry. “The President must make clear to President Sang that any agreement in TPP will be fairly designed and protect America's textile industry.  The 10th District, and North Carolina as a whole, rely heavily on the textile industry and going forward I will continue to do everything I can to protect it and the jobs it provides."

The yarn-forward rule ensures that only countries within a free trade region, such as TPP, receive benefits from the agreement.  This rule has been a part of all recent free trade agreements and is responsible for over $25 billion of trade between the United States and other countries. 

The 10th District of North Carolina has a long history of being one of the leading centers of textile manufacturing both in the United States and around the world.  Currently, 86 textile companies maintain operations in the 10th District and over 120,000 people are employed in the industry statewide.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a regional free trade agreement currently being negotiated by the United States and 12 other countries of the Pacific Rim.  The 18th formal round of negotiations will be taking place in Malaysia this July with negotiators hoping for a final agreement by October of 2013. 

A copy of the letter to President Obama can be found here.  A copy of the letter to Ambassador Froman can be found here.