WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today introduced legislation to extend Trade Adjustment Assistance for five years to allow U.S. companies to remain competitive and create jobs in the face of unfair competition from foreign manufacturers.
“In light of recent news that the Administration and Senate Leaders have struck a deal to offer an insufficient version of worker assistance legislation and link it to a costly agreement with South Korea, it is imperative that we offer another path.” said Senator Casey. “Since 2001, Pennsylvania has lost almost 300,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector and many of those jobs have been lost because of one-way NAFTA-style trade agreements. More robust TAA help for workers should be passed before debate begins on the trade agreements. If not, Pennsylvanians will be the losers here.”
“Trade Adjustment Assistance should move through Congress on its own merit, along with the several bipartisan trade enforcement initiatives introduced in the Senate,” said Senator Brown. “It’s no surprise Americans are cynical over empty promises about jobs created through free trade agreements like Korea—particularly when these agreements are coupled with assistance for workers who lose their jobs to trade. If there was ever any doubt that free trade agreements cost American jobs, the Korea/TAA deal provides clarity. It’s time to put American jobs and American workers first by assisting laid-off workers and standing up to currency manipulation and other predatory trade practices.”
The bill would extend Trade Adjustment Assistance at 2009 levels for five years until December 31, 2016.
Casey is the Chair of the Joint Economic Committee which began a series of hearings on June 22 with a hearing entitled "Manufacturing in the USA: Why We Need a National Manufacturing Strategy."
Casey and Brown have led the effort to extend TAA. They have worked to extend TAA for Workers and the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC), introducing legislation and seeking multiple unanimous consent agreements on the Senate floor. The Senators have pushed the Administration and Congressional leaders to address TAA before consideration of the Free Trade Agreements.
Brown has held a series of hearings as Chairman of the Senate Banking Subcommittee on Economic Policy to examine ways to revitalize American manufacturing. These hearings included: (1)"Manufacturing and the Credit Crisis," (2)"The U.S. as Global Competitor: What Are the Elements of a National Manufacturing Strategy;" (3)"Restoring Credit to Manufacturers," and (6)“The Obama Administration Manufacturing Agenda.”