Sen. Casey: No FTAs Until TAA Is Renewed

Amanda Gillooly, Baldwin Whitehall-Patch U.S. Senator Bob Casey, chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, today met with local manufacturers in Washington County to discuss strategies to strengthen the manufacturing industry and help Pennsylvania recover jobs lost to foreign competition and unfair trade practices. At the meeting, Casey announced a JEC hearing on manufacturing to occur later this month. “Pennsylvania has added 15,000 manufacturing jobs since the end of 2009. That is a good start, but we have a long way to go to recover the jobs lost to foreign competition in the past ten years,” said Casey. “We need a comprehensive manufacturing strategy to help businesses expand, innovate and create jobs. My meeting today with small manufacturers from the Pittsburgh region gave me valuable insight that I will take to Washington to develop a strategy to revitalize our manufacturing industry.” At the meeting at Universal Electric Corp., Casey discussed several of his priorities aimed at strengthening the manufacturing industry, including cracking down on China’s currency manipulation, making the research and development tax credit permanent, investing in students and workforce training, and supporting workers who have lost their jobs to foreign competition. Senator Casey heard from representatives from several local manufacturers, including All-Clad Metalcrafters and Accutrex in Canonsburg, Sima Products in Pittsburgh, Ace Wire and Spring Form Company in McKees Rocks, Industrial Scientific in Oakdale and Nokomis in Charleroi. Representatives from the Pittsburgh Technology Council and the Washington Greene County Job Training Agency were also present to discuss the importance of an educated workforce and the need to combat unfair trade practices that cost Pennsylvania jobs. At the meeting, Senator Casey announced a JEC hearing titled “Manufacturing in the USA: Why We Need a National Manufacturing Strategy” to be held on Wednesday, June 22. Casey strongly supports the Workforce Investment Act to make job training programs more efficient across the country. He has also urged President Obama to halt free trade agreements for Colombia, Panama and South Korea until Congress agrees to a long-term extension of Trade Adjustment Assistance. Both state Rep. Jesse White, D-Cecil, and state Sen. Tim Solobay, D-Canonsburg, attended the meeting Friday. "One thing you hear often is that government doesn't and shouldn't create jobs," White said after the roundtable discussion. "But what I heard throughout the business community was that they didn't just want government assistance, but need it." The legislator said that workforce development, education programs and a research-and-deveopment tax credit were all brought up for discussion—and are things that business and government can work together to implement. "We need to be concentrating on this common ground," White said. Read original post here.