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Exxel Outdoors Expanding Haleyville, Alabama, Production After Tariff Law Expires

Exxel Outdoors, a maker of sleeping bags, is expanding its facility in Haleyville, Alabama, with 20 new jobs and a 33 percent production increase. The company will begin the expansion in January 2011.

The company is able to proceed with the expansion after a U.S. law governing foreign trade preferences expires on December 31. The law permits sleeping bags produced in Bangladesh to enter the United States without paying standard tariffs. Importers of the Bangladeshi sleeping bags pay no tariffs on raw materials originating in China.

Beginning in 2007, Exxel has gradually shifted production of its sleeping bags from China to the United States.

"We'll now be able to resume our trend of bringing jobs back home, and more American-made sleeping bags will be found on store shelves," said Exxel Outdoors President Armen Kouleyan.

"We're so proud of our Alabama employees - their ingenuity and their will," Kouleyan said. "Thanks to them, when all of our competitors moved offshore we were able to stay in the U.S. and thrive."

Exxel plans to make an undisclosed capital investment in the 250,000-square-foot Haleyville plant towards additional equipment, retooling, and adding a fourth production line.

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