Mechanic Falls, ME (PRWEB) June 22, 2012
On a recent tour of Maine textile and apparel manufacturers involved in international and U.S. trade policy, Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Import Administration, met with Auburn Manufacturing (AMI) management and employees to get a better understanding of what American companies need to keep their manufacturing in the U.S. and to compete in a world market. Accompanying Mr. Piquado was Kim Glas, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Textiles and Apparel at the U.S. Department of Commerce. Feedback from companies such as AMI is critical to helping the U.S. Department of Commerce heed President Obama’s call to double U.S. exports by the end of 2014.
A “veteran” U.S. textile manufacturer with 32 years of experience, AMI is a leader in fire and heat-resistant materials, producing the most advanced and safest products to meet U.S. military and safety standards. AMI textiles are used as protection from extreme high heat during hot work in critical industries such as shipbuilding, nuclear power generation, mining and steelmaking. The company also manufactures end-use products including a patented, modular removable insulation kit. It was also the first company to have all of its hot work safety fabrics third-party certified to a rigorous performance standard that has become mandatory industry-wide.
AMI President and CEO, Kathie Leonard, welcomed the opportunity to meet with Mr. Piquado whose Import Administration office works to enforce U.S. trade laws to help ensure that U.S. workers and firms have the opportunity to compete on a level playing field in the global marketplace. The Import Administration also helps to preserve important foreign export markets by assisting U.S. firms that are harmed by the unfair trade practices in other countries. In addition, the Import Administration oversees the Office of Textiles and Apparel.
Responding to the visit, Leonard said, “It gave us the opportunity to urge Mr. Piquado to step up trade enforcement by taking action against the dumping of imports that have decimated our industry over the past decade, and to help us identify transshipped goods that are banned in the U.S., like those from Belarus. One specific recommendation is that Country of Origin labels remain on imports until received by the end-user. We are working hard to diversify and innovate, but we cannot protect ourselves against large, government-subsidized entities that want to take what’s left of U.S. markets.”
AMI, which exports textiles to more than 38 countries, urged Mr. Piquado to ensure yarn-forward rules for textile products in any Free Trade Agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). In addition, Leonard stressed extending the transition period for lifting of import tariffs as long as possible in order to help the U.S. textile industry survive and transition to new products or markets. She also recommended continuing Ex-Im Bank’s receivables insurance program, which helps small businesses to finance export shipments.
On a tour of AMI’s manufacturing operations, Mr. Piquado and Ms. Glas observed the spinning of specialized yarns, and the weaving of fabrics, narrow tapes and rope products. They also viewed a demonstration of how the company’s patented Ever Green® Cut ‘n Wrap™ Removable Insulation Kits are made, utilizing computer-aided manufacturing equipment to create flexible barriers used to insulate energy-wasting valves and other piping components in facilities such as hospital, government facilities, and universities.
Calling the trip to Maine very rewarding, Mr. Piquado said, “One of the main objectives of our Office of Textiles and Apparel is to promote the competitiveness of textiles and apparel in the domestic and international markets, thereby helping U.S. industry and jobs grow. AMI is a company that is accomplishing this as it exports its products worldwide – and we are committed to helping similar ‘Made in the USA’ brands have similar success.”
Auburn Manufacturing, Inc.
Since its founding in 1979, Auburn Manufacturing, Inc., has become a leading developer, manufacturer, and marketer of textile products for hundreds of extreme temperature industrial applications throughout the world, including welding protection, industrial insulation, safety apparel, gaskets and seals, and other MROP (Maintenance, Repair, Operations and Production) and OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) applications.