This statement was released today by United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard:
(Pittsburgh) -- “Today the Republican-controlled House Ways and Means Committee took action that puts in jeopardy the jobs of countless American workers. The Committee refused to include effective enforcement provisions that will ensure that Russia will actually live up to the commitments they made to join the World Trade Organization. While we believe the underlying package of promises that Russia made is inadequate, the Committee legislation does not do enough to upgrade trade enforcement here in the United States so that even those promises will actually be kept.
“By now, we should have learned from our experience with China, who has broken promise after promise. The Committee bill largely copies that failed enforcement approach. We don’t need another request for a report that says that our trading partners are making progress. Too many workers have been left behind as our trading partners have enjoyed access to our markets, often guaranteed by trade agreements, while they break their promises to us and engage in protectionist and predatory practices. Progress isn’t enough. If they make a promise, they should keep it and we shouldn’t have to lose thousands of jobs to be able to get action.
“The Obama Administration has done more to enforce our trade agreements than any other Administration and has our thanks. But, enforcement actions aren’t the goal, fulfilled promises are.
“We need specificity, transparency and accountability in our nation’s approach to trade enforcement and those requirements are simply absent from the Committee bill. Reports that claim progress but sweep under the rug all the promises that have been broken by our trading partners aren’t the solution; they’re a big part of the problem.”
The USW represents about 850,000 working men and women in the United States and Canada in a wide variety of industries, ranging from glass making to mining, paper, steel, tire and rubber and other manufacturing environments, to the public sector, service and health care industries.
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