Envoy: Fil-Ams Must Lobby for Garments Act

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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Philippines Ambassador Cuisia again reminded Filipino Americans to call their state senators and congressmen to vote for the SAVE Act, which would allow Philippine-made apparel using fabrics from the United States to enter the United States duty free.

Cuisia says the bill has many supporters in Congress, but that lawmakers "have told us that the voice of the Filipino-American communities is crucial for the bill’s success.”

Supporters say the SAVE Act would expand U.S. export of fabrics to Asian markets and generate export income for American textile manufacturers. It would lead to thousand of jobs in the U.S. textile sector. For the Philippines, it would help revive the garments industry and generate jobs for unemployed Filipino workers. t

The Philippine garment sector has suffered greatly since the lifting of the U.S. apparel quota system and the resulting dominance of China in the U.S. market. “We have lost over 400,000 jobs since 2006,” said Cuisia.

The bill was re-introduced in the U.S. Senate (S.1244) last June by Senators Daniel Inouye (D-HI) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) with Senators Harry Reid (D-Nev) and Daniel Akaka (D-HI) as original co-sponsors.