07/07/2011: A Message from Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr.
07 July 2011
I wish to thank you for your important support for the SAVE Our Industries Act (or SAVE Act), a bill we would like to pass in the US Congress. This bill deserves the natural support of the Filipino American community, and we rely on your sustained cooperation until this bill becomes law.
SAVE Act would allow Philippine made apparel using fabrics from the US to enter the US duty free. For the United States, this bill would expand U.S. export of fabrics to Asian markets and would generate export income for American textile manufacturers. It would lead to thousands of jobs in the US textile sector.
For the Philippines, it would help revive the garments industry and generate jobs for unemployed Filipino workers. The Philippine garments sector has suffered greatly since the lifting of the US apparel quota system and the resulting dominance of China in the US market. We have lost over 400,000 jobs since 2006.
SAVE Act is very important to our workers and in the strengthening of our relationship with the United States. In September 2010 during his visit to the United States, no less than President Benigno S. Aquino III spoke for the SAVE Act and urged that we work together to get it passed. Congressman Manny Pacquiao visited Washington, DC earlier this year to seek the support of U.S. legislators.
SAVE Act was re-introduced in the U.S. Senate (S. 1244) last 22 June by Senators Daniel Inouye (D-HI) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) with Senators Harry Reid (D-NV) and Daniel Akaka (D-HI) as original co-sponsors; and in the U.S. House of Representatives (H.R. 2387) last 24 June by Representatives Jim McDermott (D-WA) and Brian Bilbray (R-CA) with Representatives Steve Austria (R-OH), Bob Filner (D-CA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and Gregorio Sablan (D-MP) as original co-sponsors. More U.S. senators and congressmen have realized the value of this bill, but we need your vital support to urge them to be co-sponsors.
The current 112th U.S. Congress is our window of opportunity for having SAVE enacted. Our well wishers in the U.S. Congress have told us that the voice of the Filipino-American communities is crucial for the bill’s success.
Hence, on behalf of President Aquino, I appeal for your active involvement in pushing for the bill’s passage by letting your senators and congressmen know that you feel strongly about the bill by sending them petition letters through the www.SaveOurIndustriesAct.org., as well as spreading the news and campaigning for the SAVE Act with our fellow kababayans here in the U.S.
In the spirit of “bayanihan,” let us share a small portion of our time and effort and be part of this noble cause for our beloved country.
JOSE L. CUISIA, JR.