NAFTA in Action

Gear for Sports, a leading supplier of licensed apparel(also part of the Hanes, Champion, Under Armour umbrella)has decided that employing 125 Americans was too costly and are now moving a screen print and embroidery shop to Mexico.

Hanesbrands to Close Gear for Sports Plant

Hanesbrands will shutter a Missouri plant that it acquired a year ago through its $55 million purchase of Gear for Sports. About 125 people work at the plant, whose functions are being moved to Mexico.

The Chillicothe plant was opened by Gear for Sports in 2001 and is scheduled to close in December. It was used for apparel decorating and screen printing.

“We regret the loss of jobs for our Chillicothe employees,” Craig Peterson, Gear for Sports general manager of operations, finance and administration, said in a statement.

To maintain competitiveness, HanesBrands is opening a new apparel decorating and screen-print facility in Reynosa, Mexico, that will replace the Chillicothe plant’s production for Gear For Sports, and will supply other HanesBrands retail apparel businesses. HanesBrand plans to sell the Chillicothe property after it closes.

Gear for Sports, which produces licensed college and athletic logo sportswear, was purchased by North Carolina-based HanesBrands in
August 2010 for $225 million.

125 American workers from Missouri who have been working at the 10 year old plant, are now out of luck and out of a job. According to GFS it had nothing to do with quality, “The Chillicothe plant is a well-run operation with a tremendous workforce,” he said. So these jobs were not moving because they were not doing a quality job and “competing”, its because they were making a living wage(arguably).

Gear for Sports did $225 million in sales working on 11% profit, and is now part of Hanesbrand that had total sales of $3.9 billion in 2010 yet they can actually put out a press relase saying that they need to send these 125 jobs to mexico in order to compete?

Well when the CEO makes $7 Million dollars a year and the average salary of their sweatshop workers is $.33 cents an hour , I guess paying $10/ hour with minimal benefits really messes with the average. I wonder if Hanesbrand received a tax cut for closing this plant?

PS: Actually seeing NAFTA in action, makes me wonder why we would sign any “free trade” agreements or not end our current ones. However we do find out from this story the answer to the question that Paul Ryan refused to answer on Labor day.

Q. How much should I as a college graduate be paid an hour to get a job?
A. No more than $.33 an hour if you want to get a job in the paul ryan/ayn rand “free market” economy.

FYI: Rob Zerban is running against paul ryan!


Related Articles

3 thoughts on “NAFTA in Action

  1. When will our government realize that NAFTA is killing our country.
    They can preach about how they are going to find jobs and create jobs but
    There will be no job growth in this country until NAFTA is gone or reformed.

  2. NAFTA in Action:

    Under NAFTA, the US EXPORTS far more manufactured goods to Canada than it imports. That trade surplus accounts for nearly 600,000 high-paying manufacturing jobs in America, but is hurting Canada.


    The agreement also gives America guaranteed access to Canadian oil. Even Canadian companies don’t get preferential access.

    It helps America that in Canada a trade agreement becomes the law of the land. Meanwhile the U.S. simply overrides NAFTA – from softwood lumber to durham wheat to livestock to trucking to manufactured goods – at the whim of any lobby group.

    As for Mexico, remember Michael Moore’s movie “Roger & Me”, about all the auto industry jobs that disappeared to Mexico? That was **BEFORE** NAFTA. NAFTA helped level the playing field, and send some exports in the other direction.

    And if you don’t believe that jobs went in the other direction, just take a look at the effect of the tariffs Mexico imposed on a few items, in retaliation for the US not honoring the trucking part of the agreement. According to a report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers, those tariffs have resulted in the loss of $2.6 billion in U.S. exports and 25,000 American jobs. Texas agricultural products have been particularly hard hit.


  3. Roger,

    thank you for your well thought out response. You are welcome on our site anytime. I will say that in theory NAFTA, etc… are good ideas, but in reality, as you pointed out anyone who lobbies can ignore all the rules, it has been an unmitigated disaster for small town middle class America.

Comments are closed.