08/08/2011: A Message from Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr.
8 August 2011
I am pleased to inform you that our effort to secure the passage of the SAVE Our Industries Act (or SAVE Act) continues to gain supporters in the US Congress.
In the past month an additional six members of the US House of Representatives have joined as co-sponsors, namely, Charles Rangel (D- NY), Peter King (R-NY), Joe Pitts (R-PA), Joseph Crowley (D-NY), Coleen Hanabusa (D-HI) and Madeleine Bordallo (D- GU). Earlier, the SAVE Act was re-introduced in the U.S. Senate (S.1244) last 23 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; in the U.S. House of Representatives (H.R. 2387) last 24 June by Congressmen Jim McDermott (D-WA) and Brian Bilbray (R-CA), with Bob Filner (D-CA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Steve Austria (R-OH), and Gregorio Sablan (D-MP) as original co-sponsors.
Once enacted, SAVE Act would allow Philippine made apparel using US fabrics to enter the US duty free.
For the US, SAVE Act would expand US export of fabrics to the Philippines, from $11 Million today to up to $ 500 Million annually within 3-5 years of implementation, and save/create some 3,000 jobs in the US textile industry. For the Philippines, it would restore hundreds of thousands of apparel manufacturing jobs, and over $1 Billion of Philippine apparel exports to the US lost since the lifting of the US apparel import quotas and the resulting dominance of China of the US market.
While the US and the Philippines have had a long-standing historical, security and military relationship, the SAVE Act would be the first bilateral trade arrangement between the two countries in nearly four decades.
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.
Our friends in the US Congress tell us that the SAVE bill could be taken up as part of a trade package in the current 112th Congress, as soon as legislation is concluded on pending 3 US free trade agreements (FTAs). It is crucial that Filipino-Americans be heard by the US Congress in the coming months to ensure SAVE’s passage this year.
Again, on behalf of President Aquino, I urge you to give your full support for the SAVE bill. You could send your petition letters to your senators and congressmen through www.SaveOurIndustriesAct.org. You could also take the opportunity to personally meet your legislators and solicit support for SAVE, especially during the next 4 weeks leading up to Labor Day, when Congress is in recess and your legislators will be in their respective districts.
Pagtulungan po nating itaguyod ang layuning ibalik ang hanapbuhay ng mga manggagawang Pilipino sa ating garments industry!
JOSE L. CUISIA, JR.