U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland, II hosted a press conference at Chipley’s WestPoint Home on April 23, unveiling new legislation intending to extend a critical free trade provision that would affect WestPoint Home and countless U.S. textile companies like them.
Southerland stressed that it wasn’t fair to the American market to have to compete with not companies but countries as textile companies are being moved predominately to overseas markets.
“WestPoint Home stands as the model for the benefits of the U.S. Bahrain Free Trade Agreement, which has generated significant trading opportunities for the United States, creating jobs right here in the community as well as building international trading capacity throughout the world,” said Southerland. “But now WestPoint Homes is at risk, as a critical tariff preference level (TPL) program in the U.S.-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement is set to expire in 2016. Without an extension of this free trade provision, costs will soar and make it harder and harder for WestPoint Home to remain viable and support the jobs of the 260 hardworking men and women who make up this great heritage.”
For more on this story check out the next edition of the Washington County News.