It’s not hard to imagine how sock-maker Wigwam Mills Inc. could have lost its footing.

This is an old company in an old industry. The firm dates to 1905 and knits every one of its millions of pairs of socks per year in a single plant in Sheboygan, with a unionized workforce, in a business sector that over the last 30 years has been overwhelmed by competitors in low-wage countries.

Since 1990, employment in American fabric mills has shrunk by 80 percent. Over that same span, the volume of apparel imported into the U.S. has increased by 350 percent. The volume of imported socks has soared by more than 2,000 percent. Read More