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.
“Since 2001, Pennsylvania has lost over 200,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector,” said Senator Casey. “Protecting Pennsylvania workers and the economic recovery are my top priorities and this legislation allows workers who have lost their job due to an unfair trade imbalance to get back on their feet. It also allows manufacturers the chance to readjust to remain competitive in this environment.”
“Since 2009, more than 170,000 additional trade-impacted workers became eligible for training under the TAA for Workers program. But since we let this program expire in February, we shut out service and manufacturing workers who lose their jobs to countries other than those with which we have free trade agreements,” said Senator Brown. “We have an obligation to take care of American workers and American industry first. TAA is one critical piece to rebalancing our trade policy, along with strengthened trade enforcement. Trade Adjustment Assistance helps displaced workers train for new jobs and employers looking for skilled workers.”
The bill, offered as an amendment to the Economic Development Act, 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 announced a series of hearings to begin on June 22 with a hearing entitled 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 (4) “The Obama Administration Manufacturing Agenda.”