American Merchant to invest $19.9 mn to start Bristol plant

American Merchant, Inc., a subsidiary of Merchant House International Ltd, a Hong Kong-based designer and manufacturer of home textiles, seasonal décor products and leather shoes, will invest $19.9 million to establish its first US manufacturing operation in Bristol, Virginia state governor Terry McAuliffe recently announced. The project will create 405 jobs.

Virginia competed with Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, North Carolina, Rhode Island and South Carolina for the project, according to a press release from the governor’s office.

American Merchant, Inc. will manufacture embroidered hand and bath towels in the new plant.

Merchant House International, which sells its products in the United States, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and China, is bringing textiles back to America due to plentiful cotton supplies, cleaner and more sustainable energy, and lower tax rates than China, the release said.

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the city of Bristol to secure the project for Virginia. Governor McAuliffe approved a $300,000 grant from the Commonwealth Opportunity Fund to assist the city with the project. The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission approved $590,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds.

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