INDIANA, PA – U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) on Monday toured Gorell Windows and Doors with local businesses and the Indiana County Manufacturing Consortium to call for a manufacturing strategy to create and protect Pennsylvania jobs.
“We must commit ourselves to a national manufacturing strategy that puts jobs first,” said Senator Casey. “Extending Trade Adjustment Assistance to help those affected by foreign competition, creating a permanent research and development tax credit and cracking down on China’s unfair trade practices are essential elements of a manufacturing strategy that I am pushing Congress and the Administration to address.”
Senator Casey strongly supports reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act to make job training programs more efficient across the country.
Senator Casey has raised concerns about proposed, NAFTA-like free trade agreements for Colombia, Panama and South Korea that could further harm Pennsylvania workers. Before these agreements are even considered, Senator Casey has called for an extension of Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) to provide job training to workers who have lost their jobs because of foreign trade. Earlier this year, he introduced legislation to extend TAA for five years to allow U.S. companies to remain competitive and create jobs in the face of unfair competition from foreign manufacturers.
Pennsylvania has lost 300,000 manufacturing jobs since NAFTA was implemented.
Senator Casey is a supporter of the Trade Enforcement Priorities Act of 2011, legislation that would give the federal government more authority to address trade barriers that undermine American workers and domestic manufacturing by reinstating “Super 301” authority.
Senator Casey has been a vocal opponent of Chinese currency manipulation and other practices that put Pennsylvania workers and manufacturers at a disadvantage. He has repeatedly called on the Obama Administration to more aggressively confront China and he is pushing legislation that would make it harder for the Administration to avoid taking action against China.
The Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act, which Senator Casey unveiled with Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), would vigorously address currency misalignments that unfairly and negatively impact U.S. trade. If passed, the legislation would provide less flexibility to the Treasury Department when it comes to citing countries for currency manipulation. It would also impose stiff new penalties on designated countries, including duties on the countries' exports and a ban on any companies from those countries receiving U.S. government contracts.
A manufacturing strategy that helps Pennsylvania businesses create jobs is essential to moving the economic recovery forward, Senator Casey said in Indiana.
Other key components of Senator Casey’s outline for a manufacturing strategy include making permanent the research and development tax credit to give companies the certainty they need to make long-term research investments in the United States and investing in science, technology, engineering and math education.
As Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, Senator Casey has held a roundtable in Southwestern Pennsylvania to gain input from Pennsylvania manufacturers. He has also begun a series of hearings on U.S. manufacturing policy.