Baldwin Leads Efforts to Protect Wisconsin Manufacturers and Workers in Trade Proposal
WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin has taken steps to improve a trade proposal currently being debated in the Senate by filing amendments to the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 to help bolster labor standards, increase manufacturing jobs and wages in Wisconsin, and crack down on illegal trade practices. On Tuesday, Senator Baldwin took to the Senate floor to outline her concerns over the current trade negotiations and highlight how her amendments would help strengthen the oversight of the proposal. WATCH a video of Senator Baldwin’s remarks here.
Senator Baldwin’s first amendment, introduced with Senators Al Franken (D-MN) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), would ensure American manufacturers and their workers are able to compete on a level playing field. The amendment allows the United States to continue to enforce existing trade laws, including trade remedies that allow for anti-dumping and countervailing duties on imports that are unfairly subsidized or dumped in domestic markets.
“Whether it’s making paper products, diesel engines or shipping containers, when Wisconsin manufacturers compete on a level playing field, more often than not, they win,” said Senator Baldwin. “Wisconsin manufacturers are under constant threat from foreign companies that play by a different set of rules. Any new trade agreement should protect manufacturers in our state and around the country by supporting strict enforcement on unfair trade practices.”
United States manufacturing has suffered financial losses and lost thousands of jobs as a result of persistent patterns of unfair trade across all segments of the sector. American manufacturers fight an uphill battle to keep their prices competitive as international companies sell goods in the Unites States at subsidized prices. The enforcement of anti-dumping trade laws ensures American manufacturers compete on a level playing field by preventing unfairly traded imports from blocking American businesses from establishing a viable footing in the marketplace.
Senator Baldwin has stood up for our Made In Wisconsin economy and Wisconsin manufacturers throughout her time in the Senate. Senator Baldwin testified on behalf of Wisconsin manufacturer Appvion of Appleton in front of the International Trade Commission (ITC) to bring attention to important trade matters and an anti-dumping investigation. Senator Baldwin also testified in front of the ITC on behalf of Felker Brothers of Marshfield to highlight challenges that Felker and Wisconsin steel manufacturers have faced from unfairly traded imports.
Senator Baldwin’s second amendment adds a principle negotiating objective to ensure any trade agreement increases manufacturing jobs and wages in the United States.
Senator Baldwin also introduced amendments that would:
- Block Trade Promotional Authority (TPA) for any trade agreement that includes a country that criminalizes homosexuality or otherwise persecutes individuals based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, as identified in the State Department’s annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. (Cosponsor: Senator Blumenthal)
- Require the Office of Federal Procurement Policy to notify the public each time a government procurement domestic content restriction law is waived under the Trade Agreements Act.
- Delay by three years the implementation of trade agreements with countries USTR has placed on the Watch List or Priority Watch List for three consecutive years. Placement on these lists indicates that IP protection, enforcement or market access for those reliant on intellectual property rights exist in that country. TPP countries that have remained on these lists for three consecutive years include Chile, Canada, Mexico, Peru and Vietnam. China has been on the Priority Watch List every year since the report was created 25 years ago, as has Chile, India, Indonesia and Thailand.
- Prohibit the President from waiving domestic content restrictions through the Trade Agreements Act. (Cosponsor: Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT))
- Add an overall trade negotiating objective that opposes attempts to weaken trade remedy laws, including antidumping and countervailing duty laws. (Cosponsor: Senator Franken)
- Allow manufacturers, specifically those in trade-affected industries, to apply for grants to cover the cost of compliance with environmental regulations.
- Provide access to federal student loans for students enrolled in short-term programs that end in an industry-recognized credential or certificate.
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