Berry Craig: Trump Could Create American Jobs Right Now


Image by Bill Day all rights reserved

AFT Local 1360

To hear GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump tell it, jobs will fall upon the land like manna from heaven if he’s elected.

But why wait, Mr. Trump? You can prove you’re a job creator right now: Start making your duds and other stuff stateside instead of abroad.

“Trump’s products have been made in 12 other countries,” claims an ad from the campaign of Hillary Clinton, his AFL-CIO endorsed Democratic foe. TheWashington Post verified the charge.

“We know of at least 12 countries where Trump products were manufactured (China, Netherlands, Mexico, India, Turkey, Slovenia, Honduras, Germany, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Vietnam and South Korea),” wrote the Post’s Michelle Ye Hee Lee. All but the Netherlands and Germany are low-wage countries.

“Further, Trump products traveled through other countries through the packaging and shipping process — meaning workers in more than 12 countries contributed to getting many of Trump’s products made, packaged and delivered to the United States.”

Two western Kentucky labor leaders are on to Trump’s hypocrisy on jobs. “He says he wants to bring jobs back to America, but all of his signature lines are made somewhere overseas,” said Jeff Wiggins, president of Steelworkers Local 9447 in Calvert City and president of the Western Kentucky AFL-CIO Area Council in Paducah.

“Why doesn’t some reporter stick a mike in Trump’s face and say ‘When are you going to bring your jobs back?'” asked Jimmy Evans, business manager of Paducah-based IBEW Local 816 in Paducah and a council delegate.

Meanwhile, Trump, though a proven big league outsourcer, continues to lambast outsourcing and trade deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement, which grease the skids for American companies like his to shift production and jobs—and often bust unions in the process—abroad, usually to cheap labor countries.

So think about it.

Would a President Trump really deep-six trade deals and stop outsourcing, moves that would hit him where it hurts him the most—in his bank account?

Oh, Clinton, as Trump loves to point out, was for NAFTA before she came out against it. But mum’s the word from Trump about how he was cool with outsourcing before he ran for president.

But here’s another point to ponder: Clinton doesn’t make a pile of money off products made in low wage countries and shipped stateside. Trump does. Hence, who’s more likely to put the kibosh on trade deals and outsourcing–the candidate who fattens his wallet off outsourcing or the candidate who doesn’t?

Anyway, the other day I heard a Bernie Sanders booster, who I’d bet the farm won’t vote for Clinton, blame her and the whole Democratic party for NAFTA and other job-killing trade deals. Trump would love this guy who fancies himself a liberal and claims to be a Democrat.

It’s true that President Bill Clinton backed NAFTA in 1993. But most Democrats in Congress didn’t. The Republicans got NAFTA passed.

In the House, 102 Democrats voted “aye” and 156 “nay.” The Republicans were for NAFTA 132-43. One independent voted no. His name is Bernie Sanders and he’s now in Clinton’s corner and in the Senate.

On the Senate side, the GOP went for NAFTA 34-10. The Democrats were 28-27 against NAFTA. (One Democrat did not vote.)

Donald Trump Right to WorkTrump, too, is fine with American companies moving jobs and production from one state to another. Almost always, the migration involves a unionized company closing down and pulling up stakes in a non-“right to work” state and reopening non-union in a RTW state.

Trump prefers RTW states to non-RTW states.

Trump is like the Kentucky horse trader of old. He’s happy to show you his teeth, but not the horse’s.

In Pennsylvania, Clinton And Kaine Introduce Bold Jobs Plan With A Focus On American Manufacturing

Clinton and Kaine Contrast 100 Day Jobs Plan with Trump’s Record of Outsourcing

Hillary Clinton speaking on July 29, 2016 - Harrisburg, PA.  Photo by Adam Schultz for Hillary for America.

Hillary Clinton speaking on July 29, 2016 – Harrisburg, PA.
Photo by Adam Schultz for Hillary for America.

(Johnston, PA) On the second day of their “Stronger Together” jobs-focused bus tour through Pennsylvania and Ohio, Hillary Clinton and Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia continued introducing the American people to their 100 days jobs plan, which will make the largest investment in new, good-paying jobs since World War II during their first 100 days in office.

They visited Johnstown Wire Technologies, a factory with a record of creating jobs and investing in America. Highlighting her plans to invest $10 billion to strengthen manufacturing communities like Johnstown.

She also highlighted an economic analysis by a former McCain advisor that said Clinton’s plans would create over 10 million jobs in her first term alone.

“In this county, you’ve got 125 to – 129 manufacturing businesses just like Johnstown Wire that employ nearly 4,000 people. And Hillary’s going to talk at some length about our ‘Make It in America’ plan that will invest $10 billion in communities just like Johnstown,” said Senator Tim Kaine. “We’ll put workers first, we’ll put their wages first, we’ll put their families first. We’ll reject trade agreements like the TPP that don’t meet the standards that they ought to meet.”

“And we need to do something that has a direct tie to Johnstown Wire’s business, which is invest in infrastructure, so that everybody’s able to get around. We can have a power grid that works, we’ve got bridges that are solid, because these kinds of jobs and infrastructure hire people today and raise our platform of economic success down the road,” added Kaine.

“Within the first 100 days of our administration, we are going to break the gridlock in Washington and make the biggest investment in new, good paying jobs since World War II,” said Secretary Hillary Clinton. “We will start by making the boldest investment in America infrastructure since we built the Interstate Highway System back in the 1950s.”

Tim Kaine praised Clinton’s dedication to protecting American manufacturing jobs, saying “And we’re on this tour so that we can talk about the American economy: to talk about manufacturing; to talk about the way to grow jobs and make sure everybody benefits from our economic growth, not just a few. And that’s why I admire Hillary so very, very much.”

Clinton talked about her work with United Steelworkers International President Leo W Gerard and her work fighting for unions and all working people.

“I believe with all my heart that the economy should work for everyone, not just those at the top. Leo knows because when I was privileged to work with him. To stand up for steelworkers. To start the very first Manufacturing Caucus in the United States Senate. I had no idea then that I was going to run for president. What I cared about is that I had lots of great people in New York who saw their jobs leave. Who lost them to automation and technology. Who were the victims of efforts to bust unions and undercut fair wages and benefits. So what I wanted to do was to make it clear that in America, we’re going to keep making things. Anyone willing to work hard should be able to find a job that pays well enough to support a family. That’s the basic bargain of America,” Clinton said.

Clinton and Kaine also contrasted their shared vision for an American economy that works for everyone—not just those at the top—with Trump’s long record of outsourcing products to be made overseas, instead of here in America.  As Clinton said, “Donald Trump, you hear him, he talks a big game about putting America first. Well, with all due respect, please explain to me what part of America first leads Trump to make Trump dress shirts in Bangladesh, not Ashland, Pennsylvania. Or to make Trump furniture in Turkey, not Freeburg, Pennsylvania. Or Trump picture frames in India, not Bristol, Pennsylvania.”

Clinton continued, “So Donald Trump says he wants to make America great again. Well, he could start by actually making things in America again. Now, if we’re serious about investing in America manufacturing, we have to be serious about defending American workers, and that means we’ve got to defend the right to organize and bargain collectively, which helped to build the American middle class in the first place.”

Guest Editorial: Exposing Trump’s Trade Appeal To Working-Class Voters For What It Is

(This is a special guest editorial from Dave Johnson who works for Campaign for America’s Future.  The original post is here)

Donald Trump is selling himself as the champion of working-class voters. He says Democrats and their presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, are selling them out with trade deals. But Trump is just a fraud.

Unfortunately, President Obama is pushing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement and Clinton is not confronting him for doing so.

That has to change – fast. Clinton must publicly, directly and loudly challenge President Obama and demand that he withdraw TPP from consideration by Congress.

Trump’s Trade Speech

Trump’s speech on trade and “globalization” issues attempted to frame Clinton and Democrats as being on the side of the “Wall Street” forces that have pushed low-wage policies on working-class Americans. He is using the upcoming and hated TPP being pushed by President Obama as an example of this, saying Clinton is only “pretending” to oppose TPP in order to get votes.

From the speech:

The legacy of Pennsylvania steelworkers lives in the bridges, railways and skyscrapers that make up our great American landscape.

But our workers’ loyalty was repaid with betrayal.

Our politicians have aggressively pursued a policy of globalization — moving our jobs, our wealth and our factories to Mexico and overseas.

Globalization has made the financial elite who donate to politicians very wealthy. But it has left millions of our workers with nothing but poverty and heartache.

[. . .] The people who rigged the system are supporting Hillary Clinton because they know as long as she is in charge nothing will ever change.

In Trump’s usage, the words “trade” and “globalization” mean one and only one thing: moving American jobs and factories to low-wage countries. This movement of jobs in recent decades, pitting American workers against exploited workers who are paid squat and can’t do anything about it, has been used as one lever to intentionally create unemployment, break the unions and force down wages. (Inflation panic leading to Federal Reserve interest rate increases, deficit scares leading to austerity — especially the refusal to spend on infrastructure – and obstruction leading to minimum wage stagnation are others.)

Trump is appealing to disaffected working class workers who used to vote Democratic, but have seen their jobs shipped out of the country and/or their wages cut or stagnate. These workers see Democrats as complicit in adopting free-trade deindustrialization policies. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), pushed and signed by President Clinton, has become a catchall symbol of this disaffection with free-trade policies, but Democrats are generally seen as having done little to fight such policies.

President Obama contributed to the problem by campaigning with a promise to renegotiate NAFTA, then reneging on this promise once elected.

Trump also went after the Chamber of Commerce for their TPP support, implying they back Clinton. The New York Times reports:

Pressing his staunch opposition to trade deals, Donald J. Trump escalated his attacks on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, saying it was “totally controlled by the special interest groups.”

“They’re a special interest that wants to have the deals that they want to have,” he told a packed arena at a rally here, to whoops and cheers. “They want to have T.P.P., the Trans-Pacific Partnership, one of the worst deals, and it’ll be the worst deal since NAFTA.”

[. . .] saying the Chamber was “controlled totally by various groups of people that don’t care about you whatsoever.”

Obama Pushing TPP As Election Nears

Clinton has said she is opposed to TPP, and opposed to letting TPP come up for a vote in the “lame duck” session of Congress that follows the election. But as Trump makes trade a centerpiece of his campaign, her opposition and trade focus has not been particularly vocal. She has not asked Democrats in Congress to oppose the TPP, and thanks to past Democratic betrayals many in the public just do not believe her.

Unfortunately, as the election nears, President Obama is pushing and pushing hard to get the TPP passed. Doing this directly conflicts with Clinton’s need to show that Democrats are on the side of working people and provides Trump with powerful ammunition.

Making matters worse, efforts to write TPP opposition into the Democratic Party platform were voted down – by Clinton delegates. Unlike Trump, Democrats do not appear to understand how much this matters to voters.

Brexit Warning

The recent “Brexit” vote should serve as a warning to Democrats to take issues like this more seriously. Working-class voters in the UK voted to leave the European Union (EU) for reasons similar to the appeal Trump is making to working-class voters here.

Analyzing the “Leave” vote in “A Working-Class Brexit,” University of Kent Professor Tim Strangleman writes the following. As you read it, substitute “Democrats” for “Labour”, “Bill Clinton” for “Blair”, “elites supporting free trade agreements” for “remain”, “anti-TPP” for “leave” and “Trump” for “UKIP”:

Resignation, despair, and political apathy have been present in many former industrial regions since the wholesale deindustrialisation of the … economy in the 1980s and 1990s. The election of the Blair-led Labour administration … masked the anger felt in these areas as traditional labour supporters and their needs were often ignored, while traditional Labour supporters were used as voting fodder. Over the … years of Labour power, that support ebbed away, first as a simple decline in votes, but gradually turning into active hostility to the Labour party. Many embraced the UK Independence Party (UKIP).

…for unskilled workers with only a secondary school education, three decades or more of neo-liberalism has left deep scars socially, politically, and culturally, with little hope or expectation that anything would change for the better.

This opposition, so skillfully drawn on by the leave campaign, is in part a working class reaction not only to six years of austerity but also to a long and deep-seated sense of injustice and marginalisation. Most of the remain side, which was a cross party grouping, didn’t seem to understand this before the referendum and, even more depressingly, doesn’t seem to understand it fully now. A stock characterisation of working-class people who intended to vote leave was to label them as unable understanding the issues, easily manipulated, or worse, racist ‘little Englanders’.

Doesn’t this sound just like the working-class voters in places like Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania and other “deindustrialized” parts of the country? These voters used to reliably vote for Democrats, the party that watched out for working people. Donald Trump is appealing directly to these voters. Democrats should not dismiss these voters as “ignorant” or “racist.”

Trump Is A Fraud On Trade

The Economic Policy Institute’s (EPI) Robert Scott, speaking to VICE, summed up why Trump only appears to have the correct analysis on trade:

“Like a drive-by shooting, he fires enough bullets, he’s going to hit some things that might look like a policy that works,” Scott told VICE. “But it doesn’t have a coherence.”

“The problem with NAFTA is that we failed to effectively help Mexico develop as part of the agreement,” Scott continued. A good model, he said, was what wealthier European nations did for their neighbors like Greece and Spain decades ago, pumping money into their economies to create new markets for goods, thus making a Pan-European economy possible.

“We could create such a vision and implement a truly united North American economy that worked for everybody but nobody’s put that on the table,” he said. “Certainly Trump is not talking about that—he’s talking about building walls.”

EPI’s president Lawrence Mishel goes further, pointing out who got us into this mess:

It’s true that the way we have undertaken globalization has hurt the vast majority of working people in this country—a view that EPI has been articulating for years, and that we will continue to articulate well after November. However, Trump’s speech makes it seem as if globalization is solely responsible for wage suppression, and that elite Democrats are solely responsible for globalization. Missing from his tale is the role of corporations and their allies have played in pushing this agenda, and the role the party he leads has played in implementing it. After all, NAFTA never would have passed without GOP votes, as two-thirds of the House Democrats opposed it.

Republican efforts to drive wages down are the real culprit here:

Furthermore, Trump has heretofore ignored the many other intentional policies that businesses and the top 1 percent have pushed to suppress wages over the last four decades. Start with excessive unemployment due to Federal Reserve Board policies which were antagonistic to wage growth and friendly to the finance sector and bondholders. Excessive unemployment leads to less wage growth, especially for low- and middle-wage workers. Add in government austerity at the federal and state levels—which has mostly been pushed by GOP governors and legislatures—that has impeded the recovery and stunted wage growth. There’s also the decimation of collective bargaining, which is the single largest reason that middle class wages have faltered. Meanwhile, the minimum wage is now more than 25 percent below its 1968 level, even though productivity since then has more than doubled. Phasing in a $15 minimum wage would lift wages for at least a third of the workforce. The most recent example is the effort to overturn the recent raising of the overtime threshold that would help more than 12 million middle-wage salaried workers obtain overtime protections.

Trump in his “trade” speech also called for getting rid of corporate taxes and getting rid of regulations on corporations. He also opposes having any minimum wage at all. Trump and the Republicans are hardly friends of working people.

Opposing TPP Must Be In The Democratic Platform

British elites were surprised when working-class voters decided to “Brexit” and “Leave” the EU. They had been more-or-less complacent about the anger that working people are feeling out there as jobs leave the country, wages are stagnant or falling, work hours get longer for those who have jobs, and the rich just get richer.

Voting against opposition to TPP in the Democratic platform shows that Democrats appear to have the same complacency on trade.

Democrats must get this right. They have to stand up for working people and demand that our trade policies start helping people instead of hurting them. That starts with Clinton demanding that the president withdraw TPP from consideration by Congress.

Clinton must pledge to renegotiate all of our trade agreements, this time with labor, environmental, consumer, human rights and other “stakeholder” groups at the table. This is the best way to show the public that she is on their side.

Here are ways to help Democrats get to the right place on this, and put TPP opposition in the platform:

● Campaign for America’s Future: Sign our petitions to Leader Nancy Pelosi. Tell her she and other democrats to send Obama a message: Don’t undermine our nominee. No vote lame duck vote on TPP.

● CREDO Action: Sign the petition: The Democratic Party platform must include unequivocal opposition to the TPP

● Keith Ellison via Democracy for America: Will you sign my petition to the DNC’s Platform Committee and join me and DFA in asking them to adopt an anti-TPP amendment when the full committee meets in Orlando on July 8-9?

Also see Bill Scher, “Trump is a William McKinley Protectionist, Not a Bernie Sanders Populist.”

New England Protesters Call Out Donald Trump’s Outsourcing Record and Divisive Rhetoric

Concord, N.H. — Donald Trump’s visit to New England concluded with a stop in Manchester yesterday. Protesters were on hand at every turn to stand against his divisive rhetoric and his businesses outsourcing jobs overseas, despite his claims of favoring American workers.

“Donald Trump’s claims of being for American jobs are utterly disingenuous,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley. “His companies employ low-wage workers in China, Bangladesh and Honduras, among others, because it means more money in his pockets. It is has been clear that throughout his career and his presidential campaign, he is only out for himself.”

Protesters also sounded the alarm on Trump’s racist and insulting rhetoric on Latinos and Muslims. At the Manchester event, Trump joked that a “Mexican plane” was flying overhead, “ready to attack,” and suggested that he was “looking into” banning TSA workers from wearing hijabs.

Highlights of the protests

New Hampshire



Eagle Tribune: Trump talks trade in NH visit

Trump and his trade remarks came under fire from the Clinton campaign and Democratic leaders, including New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley.

“New Hampshire, and the United States, deserve a president who will fight for workers and their families, not a fraud who will do anything to get ahead and cares only about himself,” Buckley said. “Donald Trump is unfit to serve as president of the United States, and voters across America will make that quite clear come November.“




Portland Press Herald: Trump takes aim at Clinton during raucous rally in Bangor

[Maine Attorney General Janet Mills] said Trump and his companies represent the outsourcing of jobs that has hurt manufacturing in Maine and other states. None of the products he touts or wears is made in the United States, she said.

“Donald Trump has nothing in common with the working men and women of Maine and no interest in helping them,” Mills said. “He has lined his pockets with cheap foreign labor at the expense of Maine workers and American workers. The ‘King of Debt,’ so-called, who says wages are too high, will be no help to the people of Maine.”



CBS-Boston: Donald Trump’s Private Boston Fundraiser Target of Protestors

A group of about 100 protesters that included Congressman Michael Capuano and Ayanna Pressley held signs and chanted across the street from the hotel in Post Office Square more than an hour before Trump’s arrival.

NECN: Protesters Gather Outside Trump’s Closed Fundraiser in Boston

“Donald Trump needs to know that his disastrous message on the economy and is bigoted hate speech is not welcome in Boston, it’s not welcome in Massachusetts and that’s what people here want to let him know,” said Dan Hoffer of the Service Employees International Union Local 888.

U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano was among those protesting the real estate mogul outside the Langham.

“This is his welcome to Boston,” the Democrat said of Trump.

AFL-CIO Releases New Video About One Mother’s Food Safety Fears About The TPP

Ahead of Mother’s Day, Pregnant Mom Discusses TPP Food Safety Fears in New AFL-CIO Trade Video

(Washington, DC, ) – As Mother’s Day approaches, the AFL-CIO released a video featuring a pregnant mom who’s concerned that the secrecy around food labeling and regulations in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) could negatively impact her unborn child.

“American families deserve to know that the food on their dinner tables is safe.” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “The TPP will undermine U.S. food safety regulations and once again put the greed of corporations ahead of the safety of working families. This is unacceptable.”

“As an expectant mother I already have a lot of anxiety when it comes to doing grocery shopping and trying to figure out what I can trust,” said Katrina Dizon Mariategue. “We don’t know what type of additives or antibiotics are being put into our food. Some of the stuff might not even be specified in labels. I think it’s a very terrifying thought.”

This video is the third in a series examining the real human impact of trade agreements like the TPP. Watch the first video on how the TPP could put the lives of cancer patients in danger and the second warns that TPP would double down on NAFTA’s economic devastation.

Leo W Gerard: American Workers Crushed Under China’s Deliberate Overproduction

Image by Glasseye View Flikr CC

Image by Glasseye View Flikr CC

I went to Washington, D.C., last week to ask trade experts and lawmakers to stop the relentless, lawless, callous dumping of Chinese steel, aluminum, paper, rubber, glass, chemicals and other products, which has closed mills, killed jobs, destroyed lives, devastated American communities and imperiled national security.

American steel is made in the most efficient, cost-effective mills in the world by the most skilled, productive workers anywhere. That’s a fact. It’s a fact that steel executives testified to last week in hearings conducted by members of Congress and trade law enforcers. We want the trade enforcers and Congress to stop the dumping and to force China to dramatically cut its steel production because China has kept none of its promises over the past seven years to voluntarily do so. In fact, it has continuously increased production.


China makes way, way too much steel. In 2015, it produced nearly 500 million tonsmore than it needed. It did that to keep its citizens employed, its mills running and its country free of civic unrest.

That would be fine if China just put all of that extra steel in a warehouse somewhere. But it dumped more than 100 million tons in overseas markets in 2015. Production of that steel was subsidized by the Chinese government in ways that violate international trade rules, so the price was artificially low. And Chinasuppresses the value of its currency, further falsely reducing the cost of the steel.

Even the most efficient mills in the world can’t compete with a country. So they shut down.

On Tuesday, Sam Pantello, a maintenance mechanical technician at EVRAZ Rocky Mountain Steel in Pueblo, Colo., told the U.S. Trade Representative that 260 of his fellow workers are laid off and EVRAZ is running at 65 percent capacity all because of Chinese dumping.  Here is what he said:

“We produce high-quality steel cost-effectively and efficiently and are the only manufacturer of steel rail west of the Mississippi. And yet, because of steel dumping, I have co-workers out of a job, worrying about making their next mortgage or car payment, and that just isn’t right.”

This didn’t happen overnight. China has been ramping up production of steel and aluminum and other commodities for over a decade. It ships the excess overseas. That floods international markets, artificially depressing prices worldwide. That bankrupts factories and mills that operate on Western free market principles, causing unemployment and shattering communities. The devastation has occurred across the United States, Great Britain and Europe.

Everyone is affected, from the guy who digs the iron ore out of the ground to the guy who sells burgers to workers leaving the mill on shift change. Dan Pierce, a diesel mechanic at the U.S. Steel Keewatin Taconite mine in Hibbing, Minn., explained this to the U.S. Trade Representative. Because so many steel mills are partly or completely shut down, the demand for taconite, which is processed into iron ore pellets, is slim. U.S. Steel closed the Keewatin Taconite mine last May and laid off nearly all of the 360 workers, including Pierce.

“Not being able to work for the past 11 months has put stress on me, my family and my friends as we wrestle with the uncertainty of if, and when, I will be able to return to work. Our family has had to hold off on home repairs and cut back on groceries and eating out. When we do this, and you multiply it by all of the other workers going through the same things, it means local businesses suffer as people make less trips to places like the Super One Foods or the Erikson lumberyard. Everything in the [iron] range depends on the mining companies running. When they’re shut down, it affects everyone, from daycare providers to local car dealerships to hospitals,” Pierce explained.

The effect of China dumping its excessive production into the world market is massive layoffs, both in the United States and in Europe. Last week Britain demanded that China rein in its overcapacity after Tata Steel announced it was placing its partly closed British mills on the auction block, putting 15,000 jobs at risk.

In the United States, 13,500 steelworkers hold layoff notices, and earlier this month, 750 U.S. Steel white-collar workers learned they’d lose their jobs too. The crisis has hit aluminum just as hard. Five years ago, 14 aluminum smelters ran in this country. Now there are five. Another is slated to close in June. If it does, 6,500 aluminum workers will have lost their jobs. These are good, family-supporting jobs with benefits and pensions.  This is China exporting unemployment.

Tim Davis, a crane operator at Cascade Steel Rolling Mills in McMinnville, Ore., told the U.S. Trade Representative what it means to lose that kind of job. His mill makes rebar, coiled steel wire and flat bar. Because of dumped coiled wire and rebar, Cascade is running on reduced days and furloughed 70 workers, including Davis.

“Cascade Steel isn’t just a job to me. It helped raise me. The paychecks my dad received from working there when I was growing up allowed me to participate in sports while I was in school, paid for our family vacations and ensured that I had a roof over my head and food on the table. I want that for my family. I want to know that as long as I work hard to provide for my family that they can have the same childhood I did thanks to my dad working hard at Cascade Steel.

“I am proud to follow in my father’s footsteps in the manufacturing industry, and I would hope that my children would be proud to follow us if that is what they choose to do, but for that to happen, there needs to be an American manufacturing industry around for them to do so, and at the current rate of American factories closing their doors for good, I’m concerned they won’t have that option.

“At this pace, the only option my kids will have is college, the military or working at a retail store that was built with foreign materials, selling foreign-made products, and then bagging purchases up in foreign-made bags,” he told the Trade Representative.

Since 2009, China has repeatedly acknowledged that it makes too much steel and promised to stop. But it doesn’t. It just makes even more. Even at a loss.


Again in January China said it would cut production. This time by 100 million tons by 2020. That is not nearly enough. It would, in fact, be insignificant, only about a fifth of its overproduction. But then just last month, China’s Baosteel, a major state-owned company, announced that it would increase production by 20 percent this year.

To put China’s excess in perspective, the nearly 500 million tons it overproduced in 2015 is more than five times the steel forged in the United States, and the United States is the third-largest producer of steel in the world. In 2000, China had just slightly more steelmaking capacity than the United States, but since then, it increased so dramatically that now China has 1.2 billion tons of capacity. That is more than 10 times the capacity of the United States, where production declined over that period.

China’s capacity now exceeds that of the United States, Japan, the European Union, and Russia combined. That means every mill in the United States, Japan, Russia and the European Union could shut down, all of those workers could lose their jobs, all of those communities could crumble and China would reap the benefits by exporting all of its steel and further expanding its industry.

If those countries rolled over and let China do that.

David Clark, a maintenance utility worker at the U.S. Steel Fairfield Tubular Operations in Alabama, previewed for the U.S. Trade Representative what such a China takeover could mean. Much of the Fairfield works shut down in August, and 1,000 steelworkers were laid off. The local union has set up a food bank to help families get by. “My community is struggling,” he told the trade officials.

“The outlook is bleak for the business in our town. All of the suppliers in the area have been forced to cut positions. Some local gas stations have ceased 24-hour operations as the traffic at shift changes went away. And retailers are leaving the city. Shortly after the closure, Walmart and other retailers left the city of Fairfield, and the loss of sales tax revenue has placed the city in dire financial situations. It has gotten to the point where the city council in Fairfield is debating closure of the police department and the suspension of other city services in order to survive.”

Clark said what every steelworker told the trade officials and what we all told Congress: “No U.S. steelworker should have to lose a job to allow unfairly traded steel into this country.”

The corporate officials asked the U.S. Trade Representative and Congress to act to save an industry vital to national security. I told the same officials to stop swallowing false promises of change from China and impose broad-based import restraints, take comprehensive, enforceable measures to reduce global overcapacity and definitively declare that China does not qualify as a market economy under U.S. law.

“I implore this committee to consider the true cost of allowing terrible policies and bad trade agreements to continue destroying the very thing that made this country what it is. We became the strongest, most powerful country in the world because American blue-collar workers carried us there on their backs on their quest to achieve the American Dream. Each and every unfair trade deal we jump into is destroying the legacy that our forefathers created with sweat on their brow and calluses on their hands.”

On International Women’s Day, AFL-CIO Talks Of How TPP Will Negatively Impact Women

AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler Highlights TPP’s Negative Impact on Women 

AFL-CIO Releases Fact Sheet on International Women’s Day 

Women and TPP(Washington, DC, March 8, 2016) – On a press call in honor of International Women’s Day, Liz Shuler, AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer and Thea Lee, AFL-CIO Deputy Chief of Staff, discussed the negative impact the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will have on women across the world.

“This International Women’s Day, the labor movement recognizes that while women in the workplace have gained a great deal, the harsh reality is too many of us continue to struggle when we shouldn’t have to,” said Shuler. “The bad policies of the TPP are another corporate attack on women and we will continue to fight for policies that lift all women up and recognize the immense contributions we make to the economy.”

“There is no question that flawed trade agreements and policies have cost America’s working women good jobs and have contributed to stagnant wages and growing inequality,” said Lee. “We need to address unfair trade practices like currency manipulation, illegal subsidies and workers’ rights violations and must defeat TPP so we do not accelerate the race to the bottom that benefits global corporations.”

Read the fact sheet: Bad Trade Deals and Their Impact on Women Globally
Lower Wages, Reduced Access to Lifesaving Healthcare and Human Trafficking

Kuster Introduces Bill to Increase Trade Opportunities for New Hampshire Businesses

 The “Promoting Travel, Commerce, and National Security Act” would facilitate U.S. preclearance operations in Canada 

Washington, DC – This afternoon, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) introduced the “Promoting Travel, Commerce, and National Security Act” in the House of Representatives. This bipartisan legislation would streamline travel and commerce operations between the U.S. and Canada, thereby expanding trade opportunities for Granite State businesses and helping to strengthen our national security. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced companion legislation in the Senate today.

“Since taking office, I have made job creation and support for local business a number one priority. I’m proud to join with Senator Leahy to introduce this bill, which will increase economic and trade opportunities for New Hampshire companies all across the state,” said Congresswoman Annie Kuster. “What’s more, this bill will benefit our tourism sector, which is New Hampshire’s second largest industry. By streamlining travel processes between the U.S. and Canada, my bill will strengthen our national security by helping law enforcement stop individuals who pose a potential threat before they step foot on our soil. This is a win-win all around, and I encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to come together to pass this important piece of legislation.”

“I am proud to support the introduction of this important legislation today along with my House and Senate colleagues. This preclearance agreement between Canada and the United States promotes travel and trade between our two countries and strengthens security along our border. U.S.-Canada trade supports millions of jobs and generates billions of dollars in revenue every year. This legislation will  strengthen those ties and provide Customs and Border Protection agents with the tools to keep our nations secure,” said Congresswoman Louise Slaughter.

The legislation introduced today paves the way for expansion of preclearance facilities, operated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, at land, rail, marine, and air ports of departure in Canada. The United States currently operates preclearance facilities at 15 airports in six countries, including Canada.  These facilities allow travelers to pass through CBP inspections prior to traveling, expediting their arrival in the United States, and protecting national security by preventing those who should not be traveling to the United States from doing so before they arrive. 

Under a new agreement, the United States will expand its preclearance operations in Canada, which will include rail preclearance facilities for the first time. The Leahy-Kuster authored legislation ensures that the U.S. has the legal authority to hold U.S. officials accountable if they engage in wrongdoing while stationed in Canada – a necessary prerequisite to full implementation of this agreement. 

The bill was introduced in the House today by Congresswoman Annie Kuster, and in the Senate by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) as the chief Republican cosponsor.  The other original cosponsors of the House bill are Elise Stefanik (NY-21), Suzan DelBene (WA-01), Louise Slaughter (NY-25), Brian Higgins (NY-26), Dan Benishek (MI-01), Dan NewHouse (WA-04), Kevin Cramer (ND-AL), Rick Nolan (MN-08), Chris Collins (NY-27), and Ron Kind (WI-03).

Since taking office, Kuster has pushed for increased job creation and economic opportunity for Granite Staters. She is the author of a Middle Class Jobs and Opportunity Agenda, a blueprint based on meetings with Granite State residents, families, and business owners that outlines common sense steps to help create jobs in New Hampshire. Through her Congress-At-Your-Company series, Kuster routinely visits small businesses and economic development projects across the state to hear how she can help support their success, and she has hosted a number of job fairs to connect employers with Granite Staters looking for work.

Bernie Sanders Vows To Kill The Job Killing TPP

“Trade is a good thing. But trade has got to be fair.
And the TPP is anything but fair,”

CONCORD, N.H. – As the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact was signed by the United States and 11 other countries, Bernie Sanders promised to “fundamentally rewrite our trade policies to benefit working families, not just the CEOs of large, multinational corporations.”

Sanders has opposed the Pacific trade deal, the North American Free Trade Agreement and permanent normal trade relations with China since day one. The North American Free Trade Agreement led to the loss of 700,000 jobs. The trade deal with China led to the loss of 3.2 million jobs. And since 2001, nearly 60,000 manufacturing plants have been shut down and 4.7 million jobs have been lost.

“Trade is a good thing. But trade has got to be fair. And the TPP is anything but fair,” Sanders said.

In addition to shipping thousands of jobs overseas, the Trans-Pacific Partnership would increase already skyrocketing drug prices and threaten American laws that protect the environment, workers and consumers.

“As your president, not only will I make sure that the TPP does not get implemented, I will not send any trade deal to Congress that will make it easier for corporations to outsource American jobs overseas,” Sanders said.

The Communication Workers Of America On The Release Of Trans-Pacific Partnership Text

CWA-blue-lineWashington, D.C. — Following is a statement by CWA President Chris Shelton on the public release of the Trans-Pacific Partnership texts:

With the release of the Trans-Pacific  Partnership texts, it’s finally time to learn whether the TPP is in fact nothing more than the latest in a long line of trade agreements negotiated by and for the 1 percent.

The Communications Workers of America, like many others, is reviewing the texts. But based on what we’ve already seen and learned about this deal, we’re not likely to change our position that this TPP is a disaster for working families and communities.

Even a cursory review demonstrates how this trade deal fails working families. It forces U.S. workers to compete with the 65-cent an hour wages of Vietnamese workers and the slave labor employed in Malaysia. It allows multinational corporations to challenge environmental, financial, consumer and other regulations through international tribunals – and outside the court systems of member countries. It pays lip service to addressing real concerns about currency manipulation that costs American jobs and leads to more jobs being sent offshore. And it allies the U.S. with countries that abuse their own citizens, including Brunei, Vietnam and Malaysia.

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