Sen. Casey: Crack Down On Unfair Trade Practices

Denise Allabaugh, The Times-Tribune U.S. Sen. Bob Casey toured speciality glass manufacturer Schott Glass Technologies on Friday and stressed the need to crack down on unfair trade practices and create a manufacturing strategy that helps Pennsylvania businesses create jobs. Part of the strategy should include a permanent tax credit that would give companies such as Schott Glass the certainty needed to make long-term investments, he said. Mr. Casey also warned about the negative impact pending free-trade agreements could have on Pennsylvania businesses like Schott Glass and their ability to create jobs. "We need to be much more cognizant of the challenges they face in an international marketplace where we have not just competition, but unfair competition," he said. "We have been a little too measured about China. When they cheat on trade and when they cheat on currency, we need to make them feel some appropriate economic pain or at least have some enforcement strategy to make them more equitable." In a speech on the Senate floor on Thursday, Mr. Casey expressed concerns about a pending free-trade agreement with South Korea. Free-trade agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement have chipped away at Pennsylvania's manufacturing sector, resulting in a loss of nearly 300,000 manufacturing jobs, he said. "When it comes to trade policies, I think we've made a lot of mistakes over the last 25 years. We've allowed other countries, like China, get away with too much," Mr. Casey said. "We need to do a better job on rejecting some of these trade deals that point us in the wrong direction." Another issue he raised was the need to create a workforce that would help Schott and other Pennsylvania businesses that need highly skilled workers compete in a world economy. "This company alone competes not only with similarly situated companies, but this company competes with Russia and China," Mr. Casey said. "We've got to make sure we are doing everything we can to help them in that battle." Schott Glass Technologies, which opened in Duryea in 1969, employs about 250 people, who manufacture optical glass, filter glass and laser glass for science and research and produce high-quality glass and glass ceramic products for defense, government and industry. Read original post here.