Kucinich has continued to fight to protect workers’ rights and local democracy from attack by global corporate trade. Kucinich was an active opponent of making permanent most-favored-nation (MFN) trading status with China, continuing his effort to build support for a new trade policy that conditions trade relations with the U.S. on worker rights. Kucinich was most concerned that granting China permanent MFN would encourage U.S. businesses to close facilities in the U.S. or forgo investment in the U.S. in favor of opening new factories in China. As a leader of the Congressional Steel Caucus, Congressman Kucinich has been active in pushing a steel quota bill that would limit foreign steel imports. Now, Kucinich is leading the fight against the Korea, Colombia and Panama free trade agreements.
Heroes and Villains
Rep. Ron Paul has opposed both NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, and the World Trade Organization, the WTO. He voted against the CAFTA, the Central American Free Trade Agreement, and rightly says these treaties are corporate boondoggles, not “free trade.” Ron Paul has also nailed the unconstitutional aspects of our trade policies. The Constitution gives Congress the power to regulate trade with foreign countries, but Congress has given that power to the President. And Rep. Ron Paul clearly recognizes the threat to American sovereignty posed by the WTO and these misguided treaties. For these reasons, Rep. Ron Paul is a Hero.
Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC)
Central North Carolina has long been home to major furniture and textile manufacturing before many of those jobs went overseas to China. Coble, the congressman from the Tarheel State’s 6th District since 1985, has been like many of his constituents, leery of free trade. In 2005, Coble was one of 27 House Republicans to oppose the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and he has voted against normal trade relations with China and GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) which became the WTO (World Trade Organization). Coble is a co-chair of both the House Textile Caucus and the House Furniture Caucus.
Like his father and grandfather, Michaud worked in the mill at Great Northern Paper Co. in Millinocket, Maine for 29 years. As a mill worker for 29 years at the Great Northern Paper Company, Mike knows the devastating effects that years of unfair trade has had on Maine and the nation as a whole. He believes we must find a way to promote fair labor and environmental standards abroad so that Americans can compete on a level playing field. In addition, he believes we must develop an entirely new trade model that is fair for workers everywhere. As co-founder and chairman of the House Trade Working Group in Congress, Mike is committed to leading the charge for fairer U.S. trade deals.
The American Jobs Alliance recognizes Sen. Snowe as a Hero for opposing the U.S.–South Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA). She knows it would destroy American jobs and reward a government that has consistently cheated American workers and businesses.
Senator Snowe says, “Enforcing rights and benefits under our nation’s existing trade policies is vital to protecting American jobs and should be priority number one when it comes to ensuring U.S. businesses are able to compete in the global economy.”
She knows that other trading countries deliberately cheat to gain an unfair advantage – and we must not stand for it. “American job creators cannot afford to enter into trade agreements with known violators of international trade laws,” said Senator Snowe.
Click here to say “Thank you” to Senator Snowe for fighting to save American Jobs…
Rep. Pascrell is a Hero who has fought against outsourcing and for American jobs for decades. He knows the decline of American jobs is intimately tied to our international trade policy. Bill is outspoken in his support of quality American products instead of simply importing goods made abroad. He led the fight against opening the flood gates to China’s imports in 2000, against NAFTA in 1994 and CAFTA in 2005. He has consistently waved a red flag to stop the global race to the bottom for wages and labor standards.
During the House Ways & Means Committee debate on the trade agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama, Pascrell said “these three FTAs do not increase jobs. The only thing that adds jobs is getting China to stop manipulating their currency and we don’t have the guts to do that.”
Click here to say “Thank you” to Rep. Pascrell for fighting to save American Jobs…
In 2010, Rep. Jones co-founded the Congressional Buy American Caucus which aims to strengthen laws that require the federal government to make buying American-made products a priority. Jones believes the federal government has not done enough to enforce and update the Buy American Act, which governs federal procurement and has been on the books for over 75 years.
Jones has also co-sponsored legislation to repeal NAFTA.
“It is time we bring manufacturing jobs back to the American people,” says Rep. Jones. “Unfortunately, many of our national laws like unfair trade agreements and loose rules on federal procurement have had a devastating effect on our domestic manufacturing base.”
Click here to say “Thank you” to Rep. Jones for fighting to save American Jobs…
Sen. Brown has introduced the Trade Reform, Accountability, Development, and Employment (TRADE) Act. The TRADE Act would require a review of our trade agreements, provide for policy changes to address any weaknesses in those agreements, and set forth principles on labor, climate and the environment, and food and product safety. Brown has also introduced the Trade Enforcement Priorities Act of 2009 and the Reciprocal Market Access Act of 2009 to empower the United States Trade Representative (USTR) – the president’s primary trade negotiator – to confront the unfair trading practices of our trading partners.
The Trade Enforcement Priorities Act, cosponsored by Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), would require the USTR, in consultation with relevant agencies and Congress, to prioritize U.S. trade enforcement strategy to work with those countries with that have a pattern of unfair trade practices. The Reciprocal Market Access Act, cosponsored by Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC), would help the USTR ensure trade agreements result in better market access for U.S. producers and products. Under this legislation, if negotiations do not provide new market access for U.S goods, then the U.S. cannot reduce or eliminate tariffs on similar products in any trade agreement.
Click here to say “Thank you” to Sen. Brown for fighting to save American Jobs…
Camp has a history of voting for trade agreements including NAFTA, CAFTA and Peru FTA which have cost thousands of jobs over the years and hurt his state’s manufacturers, auto workers and farmers. As the chairman of the powerful Ways & Means Committee, Camp is pushing hard for passage of the Korea, Colombia and Panama trade agreements. During his years in Congress, Camp has taken hundreds of thousands in campaign donations from businesses that have major operations in South Korea, and a major Washington law firm that lobbies for the South Korean government.
Rep. Schrader was the target of a protest over pending free-trade agreements after he told the Salem Statesman Journal that he will vote for the Korea FTA. Schrader said the Bush administration and the Obama administration “have done a masterful job in renegotiating the Korean agreement to make it clear that American business and American jobs are going to be created.”
Between 1994-2010, Oregon lost 33,781 manufacturing jobs due to NAFTA and 1,400 of those were in Oregon’s 5th Congressional District, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If the Korea Free Trade Agreement is passed, his district will lose another 4,515 jobs, mostly in electronics and metal products manufacturing.
During spring 2011, as Brown’s staff told Bay State constituents that he was still “undecided” on whether to support the trade agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama because “President Obama has not yet sent them to the Congress”, Brown penned an op-ed in the May 26, 2011 Worcester Telegram & Gazette where he called for immediate congressional passage of all three FTAs. Obama has still not sent them to Capitol Hill. Brown, citing U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) figures, claimed that the Korea FTA “would generate approximately 2,640 new jobs in Massachusetts” and be a boon for the state’s medical device makers and semiconductor industry. In fact the USITC data shows that 27,148 jobs would be lost in the state’s electronics industry, the most of seven economic sectors if the Korea FTA is enacted.
Despite the fact that Massachusetts will lose more than 66,000 jobs (mostly in electronics and metal products), Kerry is a strong proponent of the Korea Free Trade Agreement. In a January 21, 2001 op-ed in the Washington Times, Kerry concluded “this is a good deal for America. It is consistent with our values. We should approve it.” Kerry also voted for NAFTA and between 1994-2010, Massachusetts lost 166,911 manufacturing jobs according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
As chairman of the Friends of Panama Caucus, Rep. Buchanan is a huge cheerleader of the Panama Free Trade Agreement. But Buchanan has been silent on Panama’s poor track record as a haven for tax cheats and drug traffickers. Rep. Buchanan has also said nothing about the tax agreement ratified in April by Panama’s legislature allows the country’s government to refuse a tax information request “where the disclosure of the information requested would be contrary to the public policy” of Panama. Given Panama’s longstanding public policy of encouraging tax-haven activities, this loophole is big enough to keep its offshore economy alive and kicking.
Click here to tell Rep. Buchanan to stop outsourcing American Jobs…
Congressman Cuellar has supported many trade agreements, including NAFTA and CAFTA, the Andean Agreements and the Peru Trade Promotion Agreements. Cuellar has also urged the Obama Administration to pass the Panama, Colombia, and Korea Free Trade Agreements. Since NATFA took effect, 1,000 jobs have been lost in Cuellar’s 28th District.
Congressman Cuellar is a member of the Friends of Panama Caucus and is co-chairman of the Congressional Caucus on Colombia. During the 110th Congress, Cuellar was one of only 10 Democrats to vote against a resolution that delayed the consideration of the Colombia Free Trade Agreement.
In 2009, Congressman Cuellar founded the bi-partisan Congressional Pro-Trade Caucus (CPTC).
Click here to tell Rep. Cuellar to stop outsourcing American Jobs…
Rep. Reichert has consistently opposed American workers and small business owners while representing the interests of outsourcers. In his role on the House Ways & Means Committee, the Trade Subcommittee, and as a member of the Trade Working Group, Reichert is spearheading support for the pending free trade agreements with Korea, Colombia, and Panama.
Click here to urge Rep. Reichart to stop outsourcing American jobs...
Sen. Baucus was a leading advocate for unfair trade relations with China which set the stage for the massive outsourcing of American industry to the totalitarian nation. Sen. Baucus as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, which has sole jurisdiction over international trade, is an outspoken supporter of the pending free trade agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama.
Click here to tell Sen. Baucus to stop outsourcing American Jobs…