A Senate companion version of first textile specific customs enforcement bill was introduced last week as US textile groups continue to call for help in targeting "the bad players in the system."

The Textile Enforcement and Security Act of 2010 (TESA) contains expanded authority, increased resources and enhanced tools to help US Customs and Border Protection crack down on customs textile fraud. 

"The enactment of this legislation will send a clear message - that the US government will not allow fraudulent activity on imported textile and apparel goods to continue to occur, particularly when it comes at the expense of US workers and businesses," said David Hastings, chairman of NCTO.

He added: "For years our industry has been plagued by high levels of fraudulent as well as undervalued goods coming into the US market and has led to the loss of thousands of US textile and apparel workers and the shuttering of textile mills across the country. 

"This legislation provides our companies and our workers with a fair and balanced playing field that is necessary in order to compete in the global marketplace."

The US Customs and Border Protection currently collects more than $25bn in duties annually; with 42% of those duties, nearly $11bn, collected on imports of textile and apparel. 

The House version of the bill was introduced in May 2010 and currently has 25 co-sponsors.