At Johnstown Manufacturer, Casey Presses for Action to Protect American Jobs

JOHNSTOWN, PA U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) on Monday toured Johnstown Wire Technologies to call for tough action against China’s unfair trade practices and currency manipulation to protect American jobs.

“We must commit ourselves to a national manufacturing strategy that puts jobs first,” said Senator Casey. “Cracking down on China’s unfair trade practices is one important way we can make it easier for businesses like Johnstown Wire Technologies to grow and create jobs.”

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.

China’s unfair trade practices negatively impact Johnstown Wire Technologies by flooding the market with product priced below fair market value, making it difficult to do business and create jobs.

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.

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 addition to cracking down on China, Senator Casey outlined key components of a manufacturing strategy, including:

• Make permanent the R&D tax credit to give companies the certainty they need to make long-term research investments in the United States.

• Extend trade adjustment assistance to help those workers who have lost their jobs to overseas competition to build new skills and find new employment.

• Invest 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.