AAM briefs new members of the House on manufacturing, jobs, and trade with China
This morning the Alliance for American Manufacturing cosponsored a briefing for new members of the House on manufacturing, jobs, and trade with China. There was widespread agreement that stronger enforcement of our trade laws and a willingness to get tough with China on a host of issues – ranging from currency manipulation to theft of intellectual property – is needed in order to end the assault on American manufacturing jobs.
- Congressman Mike Michaud (D-ME) – one of the few members of Congress to have actually worked in a factory before coming to Washington, DC – spoke about the need to have trade policies that work for all Americans, not just those who profit by stacking the deck in favor of sending production to China.
- Congresswoman Betty Sutton (D-OH) – a champion of our Buy America laws – spoke about the impact of unfair trade on workers at the United States Steel facility in Loraine, OH. She detailed the harm done by subsidized and dumped imports of oil country tubular goods from China. Despite effective enforcement of our trade remedy laws to level the playing field, she reminded the audience that the damage had already been done. Lost jobs, lost wages, and the cost of bringing a trade complaint forward were necessary before our government would stand up for American interests.
- Congressman Don Manzullo (R-IL) – Chairman of the House Manufacturing Caucus – explained that those who support and those who oppose free trade agreements can come together in support of strong enforcement of our trade laws. He went on to detail how predatory practices by the Chinese government were impacting companies in his district.
- Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) – a former speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan – explained that his former boss believed strongly in allowing market forces to dictate outcomes. Yet, he said that President Reagan was practical and recognized that enforcing our trade laws was necessary and worked to the benefit of the American economy.
- Congressman Frank Wolf (R-VA) highlighted another side of the story that is often overlooked with respect to our relationship with China. He outlined various human rights abuses of the Chinese government – including the imprisonment and abuse of Catholics, Muslims, and other individuals seeking religious freedom. Citing threats to our national security, he told listeners about language that he had inserted into pending legislation – the Continuing Resolution – to bar any collaboration or cooperation between NASA and China. Mr. Wolf recently introduced H.R. 516, the Bring Jobs Back to America Act, a comprehensive bill designed to rebuild our domestic manufacturing sector and create jobs by bringing back capacity that had previously been outsourced.
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