WASHINGTON _ South Carolina textile manufacturers fear a devastating blow from Latin America if the Senate approves a trade pact already passed by the House.
The agreement could remove nearly all duties on apparel imported from targeted Latin American nations.
"We would end up closing some plants and putting people out of work," said Ned Cochrane, vice president and secretary of Greenville-based Mount Vernon Mills. "That could be 1,000 people losing their jobs at three plants from the start, and it could be worse."
With the Andean Trade Preference Act in place, the volume of apparel exports from Peru and Colombia could triple almost immediately, and rise sevenfold in a …