Trump Must Deliver on Tough Trade Talk

Scott Paul

Scott Paul Director, AAM

President Trump rode into office promising big things for America’s factory workers. But I’m sad to report that he hasn’t delivered — and in fact, many of our trade issues are getting worse.

Now the president is heading to Asia for a big diplomatic trip, where he needs to finally get tough on China and keep his promises to American workers.

Join me in demanding that Trump deliver on his tough trade talk and stand up for American jobs.

One-sided trade relationships with many Asian countries have led to factory closures and job losses. Since China’s entry into the WTO in 2001, 54,000 U.S. factories have closed and 3.4 million manufacturing workers have lost their jobs.

Trump pledged to take this problem on, but the trade deficit with China is up in 2017, rising to nearly $240 billion compared to $225 billion in 2016. It’s the same story with our trade deficit with Japan, which has caused 900,000 lost American jobs.

Meanwhile, Trump hasn’t done anything about steel and aluminum imports, despite promising to act by the end of June. Tens of thousands of American workers have faced layoffs and dozens of factories have closed because of unfairly dumped imports — including just a few weeks ago, when two new closures were announced in Pennsylvania.

In fact, steel imports have soared more than 21 percent in 2017. Trump’s continued inaction is making things worse.

All the while, China continues to strengthen its state-owned enterprises, which provide an unfair advantage compared to independent American companies that play by the rules. Now a re-energized Chinese government wants to be named a market economy, which would undermine America’s trade remedy laws and expose American workers to more dumped imports.

Enough is enough.

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Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Alliance for American Manufacturing

Union Matters

Freight can’t wait

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.

A freight train hauling lumber and nylon manufacturing chemicals derailed, caught fire and caused a 108-year-old bridge to collapse in Tempe, Ariz., this week, in the second accident on the same bridge within a month.

The bridge was damaged after the first incident, according to Union Pacific railroad that owns the rail bridge, and re-opened two days later. 

The official cause of the derailments is still under investigation, but it remains clear that the failure to modernize and maintain America’s railroad infrastructure is dangerous. 

In 2019, 499 trains that derailed were found to have defective or broken track, roadbed or structures, according to the Federal Railroad Administration’s database of safety analysis.

While railroad workers’ unions have called for increased safety improvements, rail companies have also used technology and automation as an excuse to downsize their work forces.

For example, rail companies have implemented a cost-saving measure known as Precision Scheduled Railroading (PSR), which has resulted in mass layoffs and shoddy safety protocols. 

Though privately-owned railroads have spent significantly to upgrade large, Class I trains, regional Class II trains and local, short-line Class III trains that carry important goods for farmers and businesses still rely on state and local funds for improvements. 

But cash-strapped states struggle to adequately inspect new technologies and fund safety improvements, and repairing or replacing the aging track and rail bridges will require significant public investment.

A true infrastructure commitment will not only strengthen the country’s railroad networks and increase U.S. global economic competitiveness. It will also create millions of family-sustaining jobs needed to inspect, repair and manufacture new parts for mass transit systems, all while helping to prevent future disasters.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work