|PRICE, COBLE INTRODUCE BILL TO BOOST HIGH-TECH TEXTILE JOBS AND EXPORTS|
Washington, D.C. - Today, North Carolina Representatives David Price (D-NC) and Howard Coble (R-NC) introduced the American Textile Technology Innovation and Research for Exportation (ATTIRE) Act, urging their colleagues to support the legislation to boost high-tech textile manufacturing and job creation.
The ATTIRE Act supports innovation and research in the U.S. textile and fiber products industry through the creation of a new $5 million competitive grant program at the Department of Commerce. University-based and non-profit research institutions seeking to bolster high-tech textile research and development projects would be eligible to compete for grant funds. Currently, no single federal program exists to support innovation in the U.S. textile and fiber products industry, which remains a major source of exports and job creation despite the contraction it has suffered in recent years.
"The textile industry contributes $60 billion to our national economy every year, and it employs over 500,000 workers across the country, including many right here in the Tar Heel state," Rep. Price said. "The ATTIRE Act will help keep these jobs here, ensuring this critical domestic industry out-innovates its international competitors by funding research into the next generation of textile and fiber technologies."
"My mama was a textile worker and the textile industry will always remain important to me," Rep. Coble said. "That is why I am pleased to join with Congressman Price in cosponsoring the ATTIRE Act."
North Carolina has long been a leader in both textile manufacturing and the research and development of innovative textile products. North Carolina State University researchers have pursued projects to develop mosquito bite-proof fabrics for use in malaria zones and waterproof leather boots for first-responders, who prefer their regular leather boots over the bulky, loose fitting rubber boots they currently use when responding to emergencies involving hazardous materials. The North Carolina State Thermal Protection Laboratory also conducts extensive analysis of the thermal protection properties of materials used in occupations such as military service, firefighting, welding and metal work, ensuring garments provide adequate burn protection.
Rep. Price also introduced the ATTIRE Act near the close of the 111th Congress. However, today marks the first time the bill has been introduced with bipartisan support.
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