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Long before Senator Helms was in office the textile industry was a major part of North Carolina's culture and economy. For a time, North Carolina was a worldwide leader in textile production until it faced some economic challenges in the 1970s from foreign imports and companies moving production out of the country.

Many of the Senator's constitutents were mill workers or manufactuers and relied on the textile industry to survive. Therefore, he made sure to fight for their rights and to keep the industry alive.

 
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