Nov 19 2004

SHELBY HELPS PROTECT ALABAMA SOCK PRODUCERS

Miscellaneous Tariffs Bill Conference Report Passes by Voice Vote

U.S. Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.) commended the approval of the conference report to accompany H.R. 1047 the Miscellaneous Tariffs Bill, which includes a provision important to Alabama’s sock producers. The bill, which passed by voice vote, will now go to the President’s desk for his signature.

Sen. Shelby said, “I am pleased that we are moving on the final steps of this legislation after months of deliberation. This bill includes an important provision specifying new country-of-origin labeling requirements for imported and domestic socks. I believe that the American consumer will benefit by having the country of origin clearly and conspicuously labeled on the front of the package.”

Senator Shelby first became involved in this issue after the Trade Act of 2002 included language that changed the treatment of socks, resulting in tremendous damage to sock producers in Ft. Payne, AL. In an attempt to remedy the damage caused by the 2002 trade bill, Senator Shelby worked to ensure there was an agreement in the Miscellaneous Tariffs Bill to protect domestic sock producers.

“There has been a dramatic negative economic effect on our sock producers since the Trade Act of 2002 was enacted. There are far too many jobs at stake in Alabama for this issue to go unaddressed, and I am pleased that we were able to include much needed assistance for Alabama’s sock manufacturers,” Shelby stated.

Ft. Payne, AL, known as the “Sock Capital of the World,” is home to more than 150 sock mills and over 6,000 jobs.