Blog: Leonie BarrieVote - your job depends on it

Leonie Barrie | 2 February 2004

At the end of last year US textile leaders threatened to put textiles at the top of the political agenda...and today they revealed what form this action will take. The plan is to get the industry's 722,000 workers to the polls on election day to vote for candidates who will oppose unfair trade practices and support domestic textile manufacturing jobs. Keeping quotas on China will be key to industry support, and by 2 November every textile worker in the country will have received a scorecard bearing the message 'Vote - your job next year depends on it.'

Candidates will be ranked according to their stance on: 1) opposing free trade agreements; 2) preserving the “Buy American” US defence industrial requirements; 3) maintaining US textile tariffs in the Doha Round; and 4) aggressively using US and international trade rules to attack unfair trade practices.

As the campaigning is likely to get more heated as the elections approach, are the candidates going to take note? If the fear factor is anything to go by, then this tactic could well yield results. But the US has one of the lowest voter turnouts in the world - an average of 45 per cent at the last count - so the impact on the day could well be minimal unless, of course, workers rally to the cause.

USA: Chinese Textile Quotas Will Be Election Issue


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