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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 6, 2005
  Contact: Matt Englehart
(202) 482-3809

COMMERCE DEPARTMENT TO HELP TEXTILE FIRMS EXPORT
Financial Award to Hosiery Technology Center Focuses on Japanese and Other Global Consumers

Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration awarded $397,000 in financial assistance to the Hosiery Technology Center (HTC). Based in Hickory, N.C., on the campus of Catawba Valley Community College, HTC helps U.S. hosiery firms compete internationally through training, research and development, testing, and new product development. James C. Leonard, III, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Textiles and Apparel, announced the award at Harriss & Covington Hosiery in High Point, N.C.

"The Commerce Department is pleased to partner with HTC on this project," said Leonard. "This partnership reflects our commitment to opening new markets, developing better American jobs and creating an environment for businesses to innovate, compete and prosper."

HTC will introduce U.S. hosiery producers to Japan's retail market. As part of the project, HTC will organize a marketing campaign and trade missions to Japan followed by similar activities targeted at consumers in Singapore, Eastern Europe and Scandinavia. HTC will help U.S. firms with several facets of exporting from translation and repackaging to developing e-commerce methods. HTC will also introduce innovative hosiery products and confirm product quality through testing and certification.

The U.S. Department of Commerce - with Washington D.C.-based industry experts, Japan-based trade specialists, and four Export Assistance Centers in North Carolina and Alabama - will work with HTC to help U.S. hosiery firms export to Japan. Other partners include the North Carolina Department of Commerce, the Hosiery Association, the Alabama International Trade Division, and the Small Business Development and Technology Center.

The financial awards and technical assistance are made available to HTC through the Commerce Department's Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP), a public-private partnership developed to help small and medium-sized U.S. firms expand exports that support jobs. The program builds partnerships by providing financial and technical assistance to non-profit organizations involved in improving competitiveness and developing foreign markets. For every federal dollar received, HTC will contribute nearly two-and-a-half dollars.

For more information about the Market Development Cooperator Program, please visit www.export.gov/mdcp. More information about HTC is available online at www.legsource.com.

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