Outsourcing could force Ala. condom plant closure

WASHINGTON (AP) - The last U.S.-based supplier of condoms for global HIV/AIDS prevention programs could be forced to shut its doors because the federal government sent the work to cheaper suppliers in Asia.

The change came as Congress dropped a requirement that the government buy American-made condoms when possible.

Congress traditionally has directed the U.S. Agency for International Development to use American suppliers for the hundreds of millions of condoms it sends into developing countries.

Eufaula-based Alatech Healthcare Products is the main supplier to benefit from that directive and eventually became the program's only U.S. provider.

Alatech CEO and president Lawrence Povlacs said the company's 300 workers could lose their jobs because the business might close in a matter of weeks.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)