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WTO Multi-Fiber Rule Closes South Carolina Factory

Mar. 01, 2005

Marion textile plant to close in April

Associated Press

MARION, S.C. - Textile manufacturer Heritage Sportswear will close its
plant here next month, laying off 70 workers.

The company's owners blamed new World Trade Organization rules, which
took effect in January.

The rules lifted apparel quotas off countries like China, India and
Bangladesh, making it impossible for Heritage Sportswear to compete with
companies that outsourced production from foreign nations, company
co-owners Rick and Les Levy said in a statement Monday.

The company will shut its doors at the end of April, according to the
release.

In January, Business Carolina filed civil complaints against Heritage
Sportswear to collect about $3.3 million in past due loan payments,
interest and late fees. The company took out loans totaling $4.1 million
in 1999 and 2000.

A 2000 fire caused about $1 million worth of damage to the plant, and
the company's Dillon County plant closed in 2003.

At its peak, Heritage Sportswear employed more than 800 people.

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Information from: Morning News, http://www.morningnewsonline.com/