BETHLEHEM, PA—U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today toured Puritan Products, Inc. to support programs that have allowed the company to remain competitive and create jobs in the face of increased competition from foreign manufacturers.
“We need a comprehensive manufacturing strategy to help businesses expand, innovate and create jobs,” said Senator Casey. “I will continue to fight to ensure U.S. trade policy works in the best interest of Pennsylvania companies like Puritan Products so that they can create jobs and remain competitive.”
Senator Casey was joined by Lou DiRenzo, owner of Puritan Products, and Jack Pfunder, the CEO of the Manufacturer’s Resource Center. In his remarks, Casey highlighted the need for a manufacturing strategy to protect Pennsylvania’s workers from the potential negative consequences of upcoming free trade agreements in Congress.
Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) allowed Puritan Products, which manufactures specialty chemical products, to adopt the best industry practices and streamline its business. As a result, Puritan Products was able to increase its workforce from 33 to 40 employees.
Senator Casey has led an effort to urge President Obama to halt free trade agreements for Colombia, Panama and South Korea until Congress agrees to a long-term extension of TAA as part of a comprehensive strategy to support and revitalize the American manufacturing industry.
Last week, Senator Casey sent a bipartisan letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee urging support for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program, a public-private program dedicated to providing technical support and services to small and medium-sized manufacturers. The MEP program contributes funding to Industrial Resource Centers, which have provided significant assistance and support to manufacturers in Pennsylvania throughout the recession.