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for North American Free Trade Agreement
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Chuck Hayes, CEO of textile manufacturer Guilford Mills, strongly supports passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Oliver focuses on the potential impact of the agreement on jobs.
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has expanded markets in Mexico for such North Carolina products as textiles and furniture. In the past five years, the state's exports to Mexico have quadrupled to over $440 million.
Textile revenues have fluctuated for state mills as consumers put their money into durable goods in 1994 and costs for raw materials increased. However, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is seen as a boost to revenues from increased trade.
Until recent decades, North Carolina had a thriving textile industry. Since the 1990s and the signing of NAFTA, textile work has been outsourced overseas to Third World countries like Bangladesh. Some argue that the Rana Plaza tragedy in April of 2013 is directly related to outsourcing, while others argue it is part of the natural evolution of the economy in developing nations. Such tragedies have inspired some Carolinians to establish Carolina-made fabric and clothing lines like TS Designs' \"Cotton of the Carolinas\" T-shirt line.
The effects of the North American Free Trade Agreement are discussed in detail. A focus of the article are the relocations of American manufacturing companies to Mexico. Schalge Lock Co. shut down its Rocky Mount, NC plant to move to Mexico and the companies workers are at a high risk for injury or illness associated with the company according to Joan Sharpe. Sharpe is a former Schlage worker and organizer with Black Workers for Justice.