Strengthening U.S. Competitiveness Abroad Requires Getting Tough on Unfair Trade

Elizabeth Brotherton-Bunch

Elizabeth Brotherton-Bunch Digital Media Director, Alliance for American Manufacturing

Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul is set to tell Members of Congress on Wednesday that global industrial overcapacity — largely fueled by China —continues to threaten the United States and encourage action on national security investigations into steel and aluminum imports.

Paul will appear at an afternoon hearing on “Opportunities to Expand U.S. Trade Relationships in the Asia-Pacific Region” being held by the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade. He’ll encourage Members to “adopt policies that strengthen U.S. competitiveness and counteract the massively lopsided and growing trade deficit with China, as well as the significant and increasing deficits with South Korea, Japan, and other nations.”

And he’ll urge Members to press the Trump administration to finally unveil the findings of its Section 232 investigations into imports. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross initially promised to do so by the end of June, but now says the release will be delayed until after tax reform is complete. In the meantime, steel imports alone are up 21 percent, as countries rushed to dump their products into the U.S. market ahead of the investigation. Tens of thousands of U.S. workers have faced layoffs and dozens of mills have closed.

“We recently received news that steel mills in Pennsylvania would be reducing operations, including one that produces armor plate for the U.S. military and played an important role in supporting the production of armored vehicles to protect our service men and women from IED attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Paul says in prepared testimony. “Further delay results in a greater threat to America’s economic welfare and national security.”

Paul also will urge Congress to strengthen and enforce America’s trade laws, support maintaining China’s non-market economy status, act to stop China’s continued cyber theft of intellectual property and trade secrets, pass legislation to treat foreign currency manipulation as a subsidy under U.S. trade remedy laws, and strengthen rules of origin regulations in NAFTA and other trade agreements.

Finding effective ways to pressure China to finally reduce its massive industrial overcapacity is key to strengthening American production here at home and ensuring our markets are not “flooded with unfairly traded products,” Paul will tell lawmakers.

“China will only respond, and America will only benefit, if there are enforceable mechanisms to ensure that Beijing is living up to its commitments,” Paul says in prepared testimony.

Others set to testify before the committee include Matthew Goodman, a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies; Kevin Sullivan, owner and operator of Santa Rosa Ranch; Demetrios Marantis, senior vice president and head of global government relations at Visa Inc.; and Stefanie Moreland, director of government relations and seafood sustainability at Trident Seafoods.

The heading is slated to begin at 2 p.m. in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill.

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Reposted from AAM

Posted In: Videos

Union Matters

Failing Bridges Hold Public Hostage

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.

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) gave the public just a few hours’ notice before closing a major bridge in March, citing significant safety concerns.

The West Seattle Bridge functioned as an essential component of  the city’s local and regional transportation network, carrying 125,000 travelers a day while serving Seattle’s critical maritime and freight industries. Closing it was a huge blow to the city and its citizens. 

Yet neither Seattle’s struggle with bridge maintenance nor the inconvenience now facing the city’s motorists is unusual. Decades of neglect left bridges across the country crumbling or near collapse, requiring a massive investment to keep traffic flowing safely.

When they opened it in 1984, officials predicted the West Seattle Bridge would last 75 years.

But in 2013, cracks started appearing in the center span’s box girders, the main horizontal support beams below the roadway. These cracks spread 2 feet in a little more than two weeks, prompting the bridge’s closure.

And it’s still at risk of falling.  

The city set up an emergency alert system so those in the “fall zone” could be quickly evacuated if the bridge deteriorates to the point of collapse.

More than one-third of U.S. bridges similarly need repair work or replacement, a reminder of America’s urgent need to invest in long-ignored infrastructure.

Fixing or replacing America’s bridges wouldn’t just keep Americans moving. It would also provide millions of family-supporting jobs for steel and cement workers, while also boosting the building trades and other industries.

With bridges across the country close to failure and millions unemployed, America needs a major infrastructure campaign now more than ever.

 

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work