Made in the USA? Texas Cotton Farming and Foreign-Made Clothes
The Texas Farm Bureau is concerned about the American farmer. As the economy continues to struggle, many companies continue shipping production overseas for cheaper labor. Mike Barnett, publications director for the Texas Farm Bureau, recently addressed this issue and how it affects American famers in a blog post on the Texas Agriculture Talks blog.
As you shop for a business shirt, pair of socks or a t-shirt, consider these facts from Barnett’s blog post:
“One bale, approximately 480 pounds, is enough cotton to make 765 business-casual shirts, 4,321 socks and 1,217 T-shirts. Those items would sell as follows:
• 765 business-casual shirts at $90 a pop would sell for $68,850. At half price they would sell for $34,425 and at 30 percent off half price would sell at $24,097.50. One shirt contains a little more than a half pound of cotton. The farmer gets about 68 cents per pound for higher quality cotton. No matter what the price—$90, $45, or $31.50, the farmer receives about 41 cents per shirt.
• Those 4,321 socks translate into 2,160 pair with one left over. Retail at six pair for $18 comes out to $6,480. The farmer receives about 91 cents for the six pair, or a little over 15 cents a pair.
• And the Nike T-shirts? 1,217 T-shirts would retail at $34,076 for full price; $17,038 half price. The cotton farmer gets about 17 cents per shirt no matter what the price.
So here’s where we’re at. While our domestic textile mills and manufacturers have almost completely disappeared, foreign workers are making $90 shirts, $18 socks and $25 T-shirts out of bargain-priced cotton and shipping them to the United States. No Made in USA labels here. Meanwhile, our economy is in the pits, unemployment is over 10 percent and farmers struggle to make ends meet.”
About The Texas Farm Bureau
The Texas Farm Bureau is committed to improving the lives of America’s farmers through advocacy, education and awareness. It is our goal to tell not only members, but the general public, about TFB’s mission and commitment to providing a voice for farmers, ranchers, rural citizens and everyone interested in preserving and protecting this way of life. To read the full blog post by Mike Barnett on Texas cotton farming, visit the Texas Agriculture Talks blog at http://www.txfb.org/TxAgTalks/.
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