CHARLEROI, PA – U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today toured American toy, game and puzzle manufacturer Channel Craft to highlight the need to take tough action on China’s violation of intellectual property rights to protect Pennsylvania jobs.
“Unfair Chinese trade practices harm Pennsylvania businesses like Channel Craft and reduce their ability to create jobs,” said Senator Casey. “Tough action is needed on the part of Congress and the Administration to make sure China plays fair and halts the sale of counterfeit, low-quality merchandise that hurts Pennsylvania companies and workers.”
Channel Craft’s products, which are sold at historic sites across the U.S. including the Statue of Liberty and the National Archives, have been reproduced in China at a cheaper price, placing an adverse affect on Channel Craft’s revenue and negatively impacting jobs.
China’s inadequate intellectual property protections are well documented, Senator Casey wrote in a letter to President Obama earlier this year urging him to crack down on China’s unfair trade practices. Last year, the Office of the United States Trade Representative placed China on its Priority Watch List, citing China’s poor level of intellectual property rights protection and enforcement.
It is estimated that 2.4 million jobs have been lost in the U.S. since China joined the WTO in 2001; 95,700 of which were in Pennsylvania.
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.
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 is a also cosponsor of the Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act, legislation that 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 research and development tax credit to give companies the certainty they need to make long-term research investments in the United States.
- Extend Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) 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.