A rule, known as de minimis, allows foreign companies to ship goods worth less than $800 directly to U.S. customers while avoiding tariffs. William Lucas, general manager of Eagle Sportswear, a company in Middlesex, N.C., that cuts, sews and assembles apparel, and other textile makers in the Carolinas, once a textile hub, contend that the provision – nearly a century old, but exploding in use – motivates retailers to rely even more on foreign producers to keep prices low. Representatives of Carolina Cotton Works,* Parkdale*, Milliken & Company,* the National Council of Textile Organizations,* and American Giant are quoted. [Subscription required.]