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Regional Report Triad January 2012


Korea trade agreement could fray Triad textiles

The U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement threatens 10,626 textile jobs in the 6th Congressional District — more than any other district in the state — according to Public Citizen Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based consumer advocacy group. The agreement, amended last year, lowered tariffs on imports from the Republic of Korea, which could lead to domestic manufacturers moving operations there, where labor is cheaper, as well as Korean manufacturers taking a larger slice of the U.S. market. The report is based on 2010 statistics from the Federal Trade Commission, which uses a broader definition of textile employment than the N.C. Employment Security Commission. The pact imperils 58,447 textile workers statewide, Public Citizen contends.


“If you’re going to the Motel 6, how can you not think there’s something strange about that?”

— Jean Fisher Brinkley of the N.C. Medical Board after a Greensboro woman was charged with practicing medicine without a license. She is accused of injecting an unknown liquid into a woman’s butt at a Greensboro motel last year, leaving her disfigured. The defendant’s name: Lauretta Michelle Cheek.
Source: Greensboro News-Record

A debt danger is diverted

Moody’s Investors Service Inc., a New York-based credit-rating agency, changed the Aaa bond ratings of Guilford County, Greensboro and Winston-Salem from negative to stable. They had been at risk of a downgrade due to their reliance on the federal government, but after four months of evaluation, Moody’s determined they would keep their ratings even if it downgrades the U.S. Durham, Mecklenburg, New Hanover and Wake counties also had their Aaa ratings restored to stable.


Winston-Salem-based Reynolds American Inc. and Greensboro-based Lorillard Inc. raised cigarette prices in December, the second per-pack increase for both last year. Reynolds brands increased 9 cents in July and 5 cents in December, while Lorillard jumped 5 cents and 6 cents, respectively. They also had multiple price hikes in 2010, when state excise-tax increases averaged 8%. Those taxes had risen only 3% through three quarters last year.


""Urban bawl

Men’s Health released a listing of America’s 100 saddest cities — it assigned each a letter grade based on suicide rate, unemployment rate and percentage of households using antidepressants — and named Winston-Salem the state’s most melancholy metropolis.







REIDSVILLE— Henniges Automotive plans to add 64 jobs at its parts plant, increasing its local workforce to nearly 300. The jobs will pay an average annual salary of $27,849, less than Rockingham County’s average of $31,044. The Farmington Hills, Mich.-based company makes sealing parts for automobiles.

WINSTON-SALEM— Krispy Kreme Doughnuts named former FedEx Kinkos CEO Kenneth A. May president and chief operating officer, a new position. CEO James H. Morgan had served as president since 2008.

GREENSBORO— Coilplus is doubling the size of its steel-processing plant by adding 80,000 square feet over three years. The company will also add 22 employees within four years, increasing local workforce to about 64. The jobs will have an average annual salary of $37,818, less than Guilford County’s average of $39,520.

GREENSBORO— Tanger Outlet Centers and Canada-based RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust purchased Cookstown Outlet Mall, near Toronto, for about $62 million.

WINSTON-SALEM— Tobacco manufacturer Reynolds American will buy back up to $2.5 billion in stock by mid-2014 to demonstrate “continuing commitment” to returning value to shareholders, a company spokesman says.

WINSTON SALEM— Piedmont Propulsion Systems is seeking tax incentives from the city and Forsyth County to move into a 54,396-square-foot building at Smith Reynolds Airport. The company maintains and repairs military andcivilian aircraft.

GREENSBOROUnifi will supply Ford with Repreve fiber, which it makes from recycled plastic bottles and textile waste. The Dearborn, Mich.-based automaker will use it in fabric to upholster seats of the electric version of its Focus automobile.

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