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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with George Perkel, May 27, 1986. Interview H-0281. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

The catastrophic impact of imports on the American textile industry

Perkel describes the catastrophic impact that foreign imports have had on the American textile industry. He sees no solution for the industry at large, only for the textile workers, whom he believes need to be reeducated to enter different careers.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with George Perkel, May 27, 1986. Interview H-0281. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

What kind of impact do you think all the talk about the influx of imports is having on textile workers themselves? Just, more jobs being lost?
GEORGE PERKEL:
Well, the problem of imports is really one of the most intractable in our society that I know of, and textile workers have been losing jobs, as a result of increasing imports, for many years. And I think they will continue to. I'm not aware of any real solution to that problem. It's one of a long-range, continuing problem that can only be solved in the long range by people being rehabilitated, reeducated, retrained, so that they do become eligible for other work. The textile industry has been shrinking for thirty or forty years, and I believe it will continue to do so, partly as a result of increasing imports. So, workers who are displaced really don't have a future in the textile industry. It's a tragedy, but they have to face it and try to find other livelihoods.