Composite textile mills are slowly being put out of business by smaller textile units. In the last 18 months, 69 composite mills have shut down production with a loss 37,000 textile worker's jobs, raising the tally to 356 mills closed and 340,000 jobs lost in the past couple of years. Small units are being defended under government policies that protect them from the larger composite mills, despite the government gearing up for open competition at the end of 2004 when the MFA quota system ends in the US and Europe.