Archive for November, 2016

IN THE WORKS, OUR 2017 LEGISLATIVE AGENDA

Funding for the MSC and Textile Technology Centers and removal of sales taxes on manufacturing equipment will headline our chwork agenda for the Legislature next year. We also welcome suggestions from our industries executives. Let us know problems you have experienced with regulations or government mandates. And while lower income taxes is a priority with legislative leaders, we expect fees on services and shipments to make up the differences. Let us know what concerns you.

HERE’S TO A BOUNTIFUL THANKSGIVING FOR ALL!!!

TWIN CITY KNITTING SOLD

The sale of Twin City Knitting Co.in Conover was announced recently by owner Fran Davis, the new chairman of the Hosiery and Textiles Governmental Affairs Council. Davis will continue in his role as CEO of TWK which becomes a division of Sock and Accessory Brands Global, a division of Huron Capital Partners LLC. Twin City is a manufacturer of team sports socks and accessories.

HERE’S TO A BOUNTIFUL THANKSGIVING FOR ALL!!!

DIVIDED GOVERNMENT IN N.C.

If Attorney General Roy Cooper finally is declared governor—and this seems more likely as recounts proceed—then North Carolina will have divided government again…a Democratic governor and an overwhelmingly Republican Legislature. The General Assembly leadership set the agenda for North Carolina under GOP Governor Pat McCrory. Republicans will continue to have a veto-proof majority for the next two years, but the governor is not shut out from setting state policies. Secretary of Commerce, Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, Corrections, Health and Human Services, and Cultural Affairs are subject to Governor appointments.

The governor has the bully pulpit to carry his priorities to the general public, i.e. voters. And while Gov. McCrory was loathe to criticize the GOP legislative majority, the opposite will be true with Cooper. He also will have an ally in Josh Stein who succeeded him as Attorney General. North Carolinians will experience the possibilities and pitfalls of divided government.

HERE’S TO A BOUNTIFUL THANKSGIVING FOR ALL!!!

HOUSE LEADERSHIP

The victorious Republican majority in the North Carolina House of Representatives has selected leaders for the 2017-18 sessions. And, as expected, Rep. Tim Moore of Shelby again will serve as Speaker of the House. His re-election by the caucus was unanimous.

Rep. John Bell IV of Goldsboro is the Majority Leader, continuing the role he assumed by the unexpected resignation of Rep. Mike Hager of Rutherfordton who left the General Assembly. The Majority Whip is Rep. Jon Hardister of Greensboro whose family owned a hosiery company in Morganton. Hardister is starting his third term and is seen as a rising star in the GOP ranks. Rep. John Szoka of Fayetteville will chair the 74-member GOP House caucus.

HERE’S TO A BOUNTIFUL THANKSGIVING FOR ALL!!!

THANKS AND GOOD LUCK

Rep. Marilyn Avila of Wake County has been a staunch and loyal supporter of the HTGAC agenda. She was employed in the testing laboratory at Hanes Hosiery Mills in the 1970s and visited the Manufacturing Solutions Center soon after her election to the N.C. House in 2008. Rep. Avila moved up into the leadership ranks under Speaker Moore and helped the MSC and Textile Technology Center appropriations requests. She lost her bid for re-election and will be missed. Prediction: she will assume an administrative role in the Legislature.

IN N.C. MORE OF THE SAME

It seems likely that North Carolina will have a Democrat governor. But on the day after the election, fewer than 4,900 votes put Attorney General Roy Cooper over incumbent Gov. Pat McCrory. The Senate gained a GOP seat giving the party a 35-15 majority over Democrats. Republicans lost House seats in Wake and Mecklenburg counties but picked up some rural legislators. This would sustain the Legislature’s ability to override a gubernatorial veto. When the General Assembly convenes January 15, 2017, there will be an atmosphere of celebrations and anticipation. But North Carolina will still have divided government with the Legislature in the driver’s seat.

WE ENTER A NEW ERA

As the reality of a Trump presidency sinks in, it’s time to think about the implications for the hosiery and textiles industries—as well as the U.S. economy. Mr. Trump has aroused passions about jobs that have left the country. He has railed again NAFTA and CAFTA and called out companies that have set up operations in Mexico i.e. Nabisco and Oreo cookies. Will textile companies with plants in Central America and South America be targeted? Will American consumers accept higher prices for goods when cheaper products no longer flow freely into U.S markets?

President-elect Trump also criticized the influence of lobbyists on members of Congress. National retailers, energy companies, agricultural operations, and defense contractors employ thousands of lobbyists—many former employees or members of Congress—to shape tax bills and regulations favorable to their business climate. Will there be a recession on K street?

Especially significant is the upheaval in American politics resulting from the 2016 election. Where will the establishment socially-moderate Republicans go? Without white working class voters does the Democratic party have a future?