May 15, 2004
May 2004 --
New Textile Lobbying Group Announced, ATMI Dissolved
A new lobbying group that will serve as the central policy development and implementation body of the U.S. textile industry and its allied product and service suppliers, the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), was announced on March 30, 2004.
The group was formed from a merger of the American Textile Manufacturers Institute (ATMI) and the American Yarn Spinners Association (AWSA).
"This group will bring new resources to the fight for fair trade policies that continue to impact nearly one million workers in the U.S. fiber, textile and supplier industry," said NCTO Chairman Allen E. Grant. "Representing one of the largest manufacturing employers in the United States, NCTO will press for fair trade for American textile workers and will put forward a positive agenda to revitalize this industry."
Added NCTO Vice Chairman Jim Chesnutt, "Today, textile and apparel groups around the world are rising up against the few large suppliers, such as China, that seek to dominate world trade through the use of unfair trade practices. In just the last three weeks, textile and apparel groups from more than twenty developed, developing and least developed countries have united under the 'Istanbul Declaration' to demand action."
Chesnutt, who served as the American Textile Manufacturers Institute's (ATMI) chief executive officer, announced the last week of March a decision by the ATMI board of directors to dissolve that association.
Burlington Industries & Cone Mills Combine into International Textile Group
Wilbur L. Ross announced on March 17, 2004, that Cone Mills, which was acquired out of bankruptcy on March 12, would be combined with Burlington Industries to form International Textile Group (ITG,) with combined revenues of approximately $900 million.
- Cone Mills will assume responsibility for Burlington Burlmex denim manufacturing in Mexico.
- Cone Jacquards will be consolidated with Burlington's two Jacquard operations into a single Burlington Co.
- Cone's Carlisle subsidiary will become part of Burlington.
- Burlington House and Cone Jacquards and Carlisle will operate under ITG's newly formed Home Furnishing Business.
All four companies will operate from a single headquarters in Greensboro, N.C., if local authorities provide the requested incentives.
The leadership of the two entities said they were pleased to provide stability and opportunities to more than 1,000 manufacturing employees at Cone's White Oak plant in Greensboro.
"We look forward to blending these two companies and strengthening the well-known Cone and Burlington brands in the marketplace," said Ross, chairman and president of ITG.
Newly Appointed Wool Council Meets Via Teleconference
Texas sheep producer and American Sheep Industry Association Wool Council Chair Glen Fisher held his first meeting of the newly appointed council via teleconference in mid March. Action taken by council members included:
- Approval for the purchase of a used Foss NIRSystem - an infra-red system is utilized to determine wool yields and provide cost-savings and efficiencies in testing methods for all U.S. wool.
- Selection of members to the various wool boards and task forces, as follows:
- Wool Foundation: As designated by the Foundation bylaws, the board of directors is comprised of all Wool Council members. The elected officers are: Chairman Glen Fisher, Texas; Vice Chairman John Helle, Montana; President David Kincaid, New Mexico; Vice President Ruth Parker, California; and Secretary-Treasurer Don Van Nostran, Ohio.
- Wool Trust Fund Task Force: Clark Willis, Utah, was appointed to fill the single vacancy on this task force. He joins Tom Colyer, Massachusetts; Glen Fisher, Texas; Paul Frischknecht, Utah; and Don Van Nostran, Ohio.
- Shearing Task Force: Re-appointed as chairman was Jim Bristol, Michigan.
- Wool Roundtable. Mike Corn, New Mexico, and Dan Gutzman, Oregon, were re-appointed as chairman and vice chairman, respectively.
The next Wool Council meeting will be held July 8-11, 2004, in Denver, Colo., at which time the council will prepare the Wool Trust budget for the 2004-2005 fiscal year.
MIYWW Contest Expanded to include Quilts, Afghans
Three states, Wisconsin, Ohio and Wyoming, are adding categories for quilts and afghans to their 2004 Make-It-Yourself-With-Wool (MIYWW) contests.
According to Carol Battenberg, Wisconsin MIYWW director, "The move is designed to further increase the visibility of wool's versatility and draw a wider circle of participants to the state's MIYWW contest."
"The quilt/afghan categories are currently only available at the state level," added National MIYWW Director Marie Lehfeldt. "We hope to provide additional interest in the contest by drawing quilt makers into the competition."
Roswell Wool Sale
Roswell Wool announces May 4-5, 2004, as the dates for its spring 2004 wool sale. A follow-up sale will take place May 25.
"There is a full day of activities planned," said Roswell Wool Manager Mike Corn. "The sale will start around 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday and will break for participants to enjoy an all-you-can-eat barbeque during the lunch hour. The afternoon session will run from about 1:00 until 3:30 p.m."
The second day will be shorter, and will conclude around noon.
All wools offered for sale will be core tested as well as measured for length and strength. The ability for Roswell to offer a larger volume of wool for purchase has enabled it to attract international buyers. It is anticipated that wool purchased at this sale will be shipped to many different parts of the world.
The event is open to all parties interested in purchasing wool.
Producers who are interested in getting their wool placed onto the sale bill can contact Mike Corn at 800-624-WOOL to discuss details.
Beret Solicitation Unresolved
The solicitation for wool berets intended for troops in Iraq was extended through April 2, 2004.
The amended solicitation specifically states that the Berry Amendment applies to this contract.The Berry Amendment specifies a "buy American" requirement for the military on purchases of textiles and certain other products.
The Washington Post published an article in late March indicating the Coalition Provisional Authorities (CPA) had posted a solicitation for "berets (that) are 100% wool (Australian)?" This prompted a letter to the White House from U.S. Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) stressing his concerns over the apparent favoring of Australian products over U.S. products in the letting of contracts.
At press time there was much discussion regarding the validity of the initial solicitation as reported by the Washington Post. The American Sheep Industry Association, Daschle's office and The Rapid City Journal are continuing to look for answers to the many unanswered questions surrounding the situation.
Wool Warehouse Inspections
The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) the last week of March notified U.S. wool suppliers of a new provision for exporting wool to the European Union (EU).
Effective April 30, 2004, suppliers who intend to export unprocessed wool to the EU will be required to have their facility inspected and approved as meeting EU criteria. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service will conduct the inspections.
Personnel Changes at Chargeurs
The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) recently learned that three key buying and marketing staff for Chargeurs have left the company to work for Lempriere USA.
Lempriere USA is a newly formed wool buying group in the United States, financed by Lempriere, a 140-year-old Australian, family-owned company, known for trading grease and commissioned processed wool.
Over the last few years, Lempriere has worked to expand its operation.
Chargeurs is the only domestic combing facility in the United States.
ASI will forward any official press releases on the subject as they are received.