Jul 18 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) hosted a meeting earlier this week in Washington with Secretary of Commerce Don Evans and textile leaders from the Carolinas to discuss protecting domestic textile and other manufacturers from trade abuses committed by China. Present at the meeting were Graham, Evans, International Trade Undersecretary Grant Aldonas, Smyth McKissick, President and Treasurer of Alice Manufacturing Company, and Allan Gant, CEO of Glen Raven Mills. Several issues were raised with Secretary Evans including the implementation of the China safeguard for textiles. As part of the China Accession agreement to the World Trade Organization (WTO), the U.S. has the ability to utilize a special textile safeguard that would allow the reinstitution of quotas in categories where Chinese imports are surging. China’s access to the U.S. textile and apparel market more than doubled in 2002, growing by an astounding 117% and is up an additional 114% so far in 2003, according to recent numbers from the American Textiles Manufacturing Institute. The safeguard would re-establish a quota on unrestricted textile or apparel categories -- such as knit fabric, dressing gowns and robes, and cotton gloves -- for a period of one year and could be expanded for two additional one-year periods. “I have long maintained that China cheats on trade agreements,” said Graham. “The practices of Chinese companies and the policies of the Chinese government are illegal and give them an unfair advantage in the textile market. American textile companies produce superior products and do so in a fair and humane way. Given a fair playing field, they can compete with any foreign producer. That is all we are asking.” Graham noted Secretary Evans’s strong support for investigating and taking appropriate action against China. “I was encouraged by the response from Secretary Evans,” said Graham. “He shared our view that China’s behavior is out of bounds. The Secretary’s office is working with manufacturing industries to validate what we believe to be abuses by the Chinese government toward the American manufacturing industry, especially textiles. The Administration is willing to do that for the textile companies.” The group also discussed the strong evidence that China is intentionally undervaluing its currency to drive down the price of its exports and to hurt U.S. manufacturers. WTO and International Monetary Fund rules prohibit currency manipulation for the purpose of gaining an export advantage. Earlier today, Graham signed a letter to Treasury Secretary John Snow asking the department to determine if China’s currency is undervalued and if so to take appropriate action. The letter was also signed by Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY), Elizabeth Dole (R-NC), and Evan Bayh (D-IN). The Chinese yen has been tightly pegged to the US dollar in a range of 8.3 yen per dollar since 1994. Given China's enormous growth since 1994, this fixed level most likely does not reflect its true value. Economists at Goldman Sachs have estimated that the yen may be undervalued by 15 percent and other experts say that number could be as high as 40 percent, meaning that the Chinese intentionally lower their currency's value to make their goods and services cheap internationally. This means that when Chinese manufacturers export a product, they effectively receive a 15 percent to 40 percent subsidy on their exports, providing them with a nearly insurmountable advantage over U.S. producers. “The Treasury Department needs to look into this issue and take appropriate action to ensure the Chinese aren’t allowed to continue devaluing their currency to the detriment of our domestic industries,” concluded Graham. ####

Jul 18 2003

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the U.S. Department of Justice has delivered promised funds to From Darkness to Light in Charleston. Graham previously announced the $198,700 received by the program when the FY2003 Omnibus Appropriations Bill was signed into law in February. The funds will be used for an adult awareness campaign about child sexual abuse. The primary focus of the project is a hard-hitting media campaign designed to attract attention to the scope and consequences of child abuse. This is coupled with a ‘hotline’ for more information and for referrals to resources that can provide help to child victims and adult survivors of abuse. “I am proud to see our state using cutting edge techniques to eliminate the terrible crime of child sexual abuse,” said Graham. ####

Jul 18 2003

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the U.S. Department of Justice has awarded a $1 million grant to FN Manufacturing in Columbia for continued developed of a Secure Weapons System. The funds will be used to continue the firm’s research and development of technology that will allow firearms to ‘recognize’ the owner. The effect of this ‘recognition’ technology would be to increase firearm safety for commercial and law enforcement use. “It’s gratifying to know that South Carolina is on the cutting edge in developing safety features for firearms,” said Graham. ####

Jul 18 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded a $288,000 grant to Commun-i-care, Inc. of Columbia to support their mission of providing free health care and prescription drugs to low income South Carolinians. In 1993, Commun-i-care was created to provide pro bono physician visits and donated prescriptions to adults who do not receive Medicaid, qualify for Veterans Health Benefits and cannot afford health insurance. Commun-i-care partners with doctors, the South Carolina Free Clinic Association, eight pharmaceutical companies, and Quest Diagnostics. “This is a great investment in the health and well being of South Carolinians,” said Graham. “Commun-i-care is an example of citizens and businesses pulling together for the good of the community.” ####

Jul 11 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the U.S. Department of Justice has awarded $225,000 grants to North Charleston and Spartanburg to support the Weed and Seed programs in each city. Weed and Seed is a strategy which aims to prevent, control, and reduce violent crime, drug abuse, and gang activity in targeted high-crime neighborhoods. The strategy involves a two-pronged approach: law enforcement agencies and prosecutors cooperate in ‘weeding out’ criminals who participate in violent crime and drug abuse, attempting to prevent their return to the targeted area; and ‘seeding’ brings human services to the area, encompassing prevention, intervention, treatment, and neighborhood revitalization. North Charleston: This is the third award for North Charleston program which serves four neighborhoods in the city. During this project period, program goals include participating in Operation Cease Fire with the U.S. Attorney’s Office; facilitating interaction and cooperation between the police and residents; focusing on youth education and family development efforts to assist children at a high risk for neglect, focusing on beautification efforts and the removal of blight from the area. Spartanburg: This is the second award for the Spartanburg program which serves the Arkwright and Forest Park areas of the city. During this project period, program goals include addressing youth gang activities and eliminating crime associated with gang organizations; coordinating neighborhood watch meetings; increasing parental involvement, improving educational performance, and bringing affordable health and human services to the area; and encouraging resident involvement in improving economic viability and preserving the residential housing stock of the neighborhood. “We need to ensure all our neighborhoods are safe from crime and drug abuse,” said Graham. “The programs funded through these grants take a unique approach to achieving that goal.” ####

Jul 11 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention has awarded a $166,000 grant to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety to support improvements in juvenile justice programs. The funds, awarded through the State Challenge Activities Grant Program, provide incentive for states to develop, adopt, and improve programs in one or more of ten specified Challenge areas. The ten Challenge Activities are: Basic System Services, Access to Counsel, Community-Based Alternatives, Violent Juvenile Offender Facilities, Gender Specific Policies and Programs, State Ombudsman, Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders, Alternatives to School Suspension or Expulsion, Aftercare Services, and State Agency Coordination/Case Review System. “This grant will help ensure the juvenile justice programs in South Carolina are serving the needs of the state,” said Graham. ####

Jul 11 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the U.S. Department of Defense awarded a $6.3 million contract to Hitt Contracting in North Charleston to construct three aircraft maintenance units (AMUs) at Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter. The proposed AMUs will consist of three identical buildings, each containing 12,000 square feet of gross area for a total of 36,000 square feet of new construction. The project also includes the demolition/relocation of approximately 41,000 square feet of existing aircraft maintenance facilities. The work will be performed in Sumter and is expected to be completed by June 2005. "The men and women who serve our country at Shaw deserve the best facilities available to support their mission," said Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. "They are an integral component of our nation’s defense capability." ####

Jul 11 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has awarded the South Carolina State Library a $2.1 million grant. The Library will administer the funds to programs that promote literary arts. Awards are made to each state according to a population-based formula. States provide at least $1.00 for every $2.00 of federal support. Highlights of how the IMLS funds will be used:
  • South Carolina Humanities Council: Funds will support Let’s Talk About It, part of the South Carolina Public Library Literary Arts Program. Let’s Talk About It offers 24 book discussion series and are available at all South Carolina public libraries. Working particularly with smaller rural libraries on funding, promoting, and presenting these book discussion series, Let’s Talk About It reaches an underserved population. Funds will also support the South Carolina Book Festival and the Palmetto Book Alliance. The festival promotes the literary heritage of South Carolina and the region. The Palmetto Book Alliance, an affiliate of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress, seeks to establish itself as the clearinghouse for readers, writers, and all South Carolina literary events.
  • South Carolina State Library: Funds will support the library’s role in children’s literacy programs and increases public awareness of valuable programming. “The gift of reading is a vital part of educational and social development,” said Graham. “This grant will support programs that encourage and promote literacy among children and adults, and help bring the joy of reading to all South Carolinians.”
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Jul 10 2003

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved a $25 million rural development loan for Edisto Electric Cooperative in Bamberg. The funds will be used to construct additions and modifications to the existing electric transmission system, build 299 miles of new distribution lines, and make other improvements to the system. The upgrades will serve over 3,200 new customers. Graham noted that according to USDA statistics, 23 jobs are created for every $1 million dollars of Federal investment in electric infrastructure. “This is great news for Bamberg and the surrounding area,” said Graham. “The money invested in this project will enable the Edisto Electric Co-op to better serve its customers, and make the area more attractive for future economic development.” ####

Jul 10 2003

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded a $560,000 Ryan White Title IV Program grant to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control for AIDS treatment programs. The grant is authorized by the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE) Act, first authorized in 1990. The programs funded under this legislation work with cities, states and local community-based organizations to provide services to approximately 533,000 individuals each year who do not have sufficient health care coverage or financial resources for coping with HIV disease. CARE Act programs are required to serve women, infants, children and youth living with HIV disease, but Title IV addresses the needs of these populations specifically. Services include:
  • Primary and specialty medical care;
  • Psychosocial services;
  • Logistical support and coordination; and
  • Outreach and case management. “These grants are an important tool in the fight against this deadly disease,” said Graham. ####