I am Keith Crisco_ President of Asheboro Elastics by leader6

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									   Comments by Keith Crisco before the Senate Finance Committee on April 13, 2005

I am Keith Crisco, President of Asheboro Elastics. I am also a member of the Board of

Directors of the AAFA and the NTA. We are a manufacturer of narrow elastic fabric for the

apparel, home furnishing and industrial markets. (These are examples of our products.) Our

customers include Fruit of the Loom, Hanes, VF Corp (Lee and Wrangler), Kellwood, Oshkosh

etc. Simply stated, we hold your underwear up and if we fail in our job, you know it. I have a

longer statement that I have submitted for the record but I'd like to summarize my remarks

here.



With me today is my wife Jane Crisco and Pennie Davidson, both are coworkers at Asheboro

Elastics. Jane and I started Asheboro Elastics (from zero-no plant-no employees etc.) in 1986.

We now have approximately 200 employees in North Carolina, four manufacturing facilities

and eleven distribution facilities in the DR-CAFTA region and Mexico. Last year we shipped

approximately 500 million yards of elastic. That’s enough elastic to go around the earth 27

times (before it is stretched). We are now a leader in our sector of the textile industry. Pennie

Davidson is here because she is an example of the people in our firm whose job depends on

our customers in the DR-CAFTA region. Pennie’s job is to pre-loop the elastic waistband. Her

job is dependent on our sales to the CAFTA area.          By the way, this is her first trip to

Washington. Pennie and Jane do not have statements for the record but are available for any

questions you may have.



I've been saying that a vote against CAFTA is a vote for China. Let me explain why.



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   1. If DR-CAFTA is not passed the U.S. customers we have will move more of their

      offshore garment sourcing to China.         Asheboro Elastics has been successful in

      supplying DR-CAFTA countries. Asia will be much more difficult for us.



   2. The passage of DR-CAFTA and associated increase in apparel sourcing in this region

      will not only result in an increase in employment in the Carolina's but will create

      increased opportunities for employment by our company in the DR-CAFTA region.



   3. DR-CAFTA countries need this bill to assure continued economic growth. We forget the

      situation in these countries just 15-20 years ago when their economics showed little

      stability.



In summary, CAFTA represents the next step in the evolution of this trade relationship. It will

transform the current one-way temporary preference program into a comprehensive and

permanent, two-way trade partnership. In doing so, it will create the economic platform on

which many U.S., Dominican, and Central American companies, including Asheboro Elastics,

can compete in the future.




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Without CAFTA, this economic partnership falters.         Increased pressures from China,

particularly on the textile and apparel industry, which has emerged as a key element of this

partnership, will lead to job losses and other economic disruption in Central America the

Dominican Republic and the United States (a vote against CAFTA is a vote for China). As

Central America and the Dominican Republic lose their competitiveness without CAFTA, they

lose the ability to purchase U.S. goods and services, which harms companies like ours.

Moreover, economic disruption in Central America fosters instability in that region, which, in

turn, undermines the fragile democratic institutions we have worked so hard to create in our

own backyard.



Asheboro Elastics has grown over the last several years and thereby has created many new

jobs in North Carolina. If CAFTA is not passed and with the new environment created by the

elimination of quotas on goods shipped from China, we will most likely not enjoy additional

growth and in fact will most likely have to reduce employment.



Congress must approve the CAFTA as soon as possible. This is the best way to keep some

textile jobs in the US.



Thank you for this opportunity to speak to you.


J. Keith Crisco




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