AAM Letter to Congress: Oppose Toomey-Gallagher Anti-Section 232 Legislation

Cathalijne Adams

Cathalijne Adams

Congress must stand against a bill that threatens to weaken U.S. national security and endanger thousands of jobs fomented by the current Section 232 trade actions, Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul wrote to Members of Congress on Tuesday.

The proposed legislation, named the Bicameral Congressional Trade Authority Act of 2019 and introduced by Sen. Patrick Toomey (R-Pa.) and Rep. Mike Gallagher (R- Wis.), would eliminate a crucial trade enforcement tool just as the domestic steel and aluminum industries find their footing following years of import dumping.

In the past several days alone, U.S. Steel announced the restart of operations at a previously idled steel mill in Lone Star, Texas, and construction at another mill in Fairfield, Ala., collectively adding 190 new jobs that will support not only workers and their families but also the communities surrounding the mills.  

Section 232 trade actions have been vital to this recent economic growth in Lone Star, Fairfield and other communities around the country. Indeed, U.S. steel attributed its Fairfield restart to President Donald Trump’s “strong trade action”, which has helped the company, along with other steel and aluminum manufacturers and the workers they employ, recover from years of punishing damage due to import dumping.

The last thing Congress should do is consider how to limit the trade tool that has enabled our nation to support these critical contributors to our economy and security.

In the letter, Paul writes:

"Rather than weakening available national security trade tools, Congress should reaffirm its support for a fair and level playing field and urge other countries in the strongest possible terms to confront their own, and China's, protectionism. The Toomey-Gallagher bill abandons Congress' commitment to trade enforcement, an essential part of the 'three-legged stool' of U.S. trade policy – alongside expansion and adjustment."

You can read Paul’s full letter here.

***

Reposted from AAM

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Alliance for American Manufacturing

Union Matters

A Just, Inclusive and Sustainable Economy

From the AFL-CIO

This week, labor leaders from across the country descended on New Orleans to map out the path ahead for our movement. From trade and public education to equal pay and paid leave to back pay for federal contract workers and bargaining power for all, the AFL-CIO Executive Council tackled the issues that will define working people’s fight for economic justice in 2019 and beyond.

Sending waves through Washington yesterday, the Executive Council’s most notable decision was its announcement that, “if the administration insists on a premature vote on the new NAFTA in its current form, we will have no choice but to oppose it.” Here are a few highlights from the statement:

  • Trade policy must be judged by whether it leads to a just, inclusive and sustainable economy....By that measure, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which has driven the outsourcing of so many good jobs, has been a catastrophic failure. More than 850,000 U.S. jobs were shipped overseas under NAFTA between 1993 and 2013.
  • By design, NAFTA distorted power relationships in favor of global employers over workers, weakened worker bargaining power and encouraged the de-industrialization of the U.S. economy.
  • After a quarter-century of this race to the bottom, workers in all three NAFTA countries find it more difficult to form unions and negotiate collective bargaining agreements.
  • The NAFTA renegotiation requires strong labor rights provisions and strong enforcement provisions that as of today are not yet in the agreement.
  • The current effort by the business community to pass the new NAFTA is premature, and if it continues, we will be forced to mobilize to defeat it, just as we mobilized to kill the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

***

More ...

New NAFTA Must Create an Economy for All

New NAFTA Must Create an Economy for All