The US textile sector lost 10,300 jobs in December - prompting renewed calls from textile groups for a 'Buy America' provision in Barack Obama's $900bn economic stimulus package.

Lower retail demand is being blamed for December's job losses. North Carolina was the hardest hit, with 13 textile plants closed during the last year.

"We need to concentrate on getting US manufacturing plants running again," said Cass Johnson, president of the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO).
 
He described as "imperative" the addition of the Kissell amendment and the Buy American portions of the Senate stimulus bill are "imperative".

"These two provisions will help to keep textile and apparel workers employed during these terrible economic times."
 
The Kissell amendment requires all textile and apparel products used in uniforms for the Transportation Security Administration would be made in the US with 100% US content.

The "Buy American" language would mean all iron, steel, and manufactured goods used in public works funded by the stimulus are made in the US unless an existing trade obligation allows contract bidders to use foreign-made products. 

Last week the US Senate rejects efforts to strip the 'Buy American' clause from the stimulus package.