Limit Imports to Resolve Trade Deficit

Massive flows of imports are destroying U.S. industry and jobs.The first time I heard anyone warn us to control imports was when I was Assistant Secretary of Commerce under President Richard Nixon. The warning came from I.W. Abel, the great President of the AFL-CIO and former President of the United Steelworkers union.

That was almost 40 years ago, yet we haven’t done anything much about imports yet – now running at about $2.3 trillion per year!

Solving this problem by negotiating better trade agreements would take too long, and probably would fail because China, Japan and most other countries won’t cooperate.  What we need to do is act unilaterally to reduce imports until our trade is balanced. With import cuts of only 10% per year, we can balance our trade within three years.

My group, Balanced Trade Associates, has prepared legislation that’s ready to be submitted to Congress. We’ve tried the White House, but they’re impenetrable –didn’t even want to see our proposed bill: “The Balanced Trade Restoration Act of 2014.”

Ken Davis
Stamford, CT

 

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Posted In: Union Matters

Union Matters

Steel for Wind Power

From the USW

From tumbledown bridges to decrepit roads and failing water systems, crumbling infrastructure undermines America’s safety and prosperity. In coming weeks, Union Matters will delve into this neglect and the urgent need for a rebuilding campaign that creates jobs, fuels economic growth and revitalizes communities. 

Siemens Gamesa last month laid off 130 workers at its turbine blade manufacturing plant in Iowa, just months after GE Renewable Energy decided to close an Arkansas factory and eliminate 470 jobs.

The companies reported shrinking demand for their products, even though U.S. consumption of wind energy increases every year.

America’s prosperity depends not only on harnessing this crucial energy source but also ensuring that highly skilled U.S. workers build the components with the cleanest technology available.

Right now, the nation relies on imported steel and turbine components from foreign manufacturers like China while America’s own steel industry—well equipped for this production—struggles because of dumping and other unfair trade practices.

Steel makes up the bulk of turbine hubs and the wind towers themselves. It’s also used to make the cranes and platforms necessary for installing the towers.

Yet the potential boon to America’s steel industry is just one reason to ramp up domestic production of wind energy infrastructure.

American steel production ranks among the cleanest in the world, while China has the highest carbon emissions of any steelmaking nation and flouts environmental regulations.

The nation’s highly-skilled steelmaking workforce must play an essential role in the deeply-needed revitalization and modernization of the nation’s failing infrastructure. Producing the components for harnessing wind energy domestically and cleanly is an important step that will put Americans to work and position the United States to be world leaders in this growing industry.

 

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work