Congress Considers Cotton Trust Fund

Could Help Protect As Many As 10,000 U.S. Jobs

Cotton Trust Fund ActAiming to provide tax relief for manufacturers that make apparel in the U.S., Congressman Charlie Rangel (D-NY) has introduced the Cotton Trust Fund Act, a measure that would reauthorize a previous rebate program. The bill would help manufacturers that currently pay high taxes to import fabric – like cotton – to better compete with foreign apparel makers.

"The Cotton Trust Fund is about jobs in the U.S.," said Rangel. "We need to act now to end this tax inequity to prevent American manufacturers from simply moving offshore. This is especially important considering the current economic climate."

Originally part of the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006, the Cotton Trust Fund would help protect as many as 10,000 U.S. jobs, according to Rangel's office. Prior legislation expired in 2009, and since then, Rangel estimates U.S. manufacturers have been taxed $3.8 million for importing materials. In contrast, according to Rangel, finished shirts enter the U.S. every day without tariffs attached.

"It is important to note how important our promise is to Americans to provide fair trade, not just free trade," Rangel said. "I urge my colleagues in Congress to pass this bill now. Our economy needs it."

While the U.S. House weighs Rangel's bill, similar legislation has also been proposed by U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and is awaiting action in the Senate.