For years, people in working class communities suffered as terrible trade policies and corporate offshorers sent our jobs overseas. Millions of good jobs vanished; tens of thousands of factories closed, and hundreds of communities withered. In one steel town, the emergency services even disbanded due to a lack of funding.
You may have heard Donald Trump bluster about trade from time to time, and he's certainly made a lot of mistakes. But never forget that progressives were the first to push back against bad trade policies — and boy, there were some bad trade policies.
Long before Trump came on the scene, progressives fought the companies that abandoned our working class in pursuit of corporate profits. Now those same companies want to permanently weaken our trade laws — laws that will be in place well after Trump is gone — and they are framing it as if they are part of the resistance! But we know better. Their legislation will make it harder for a president like Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Beto O'Rourke, or Joe Biden to defend our jobs and communities against unfair trade practices and stop the offshoring of good-paying jobs.
Introduced by Republican Sen. Patrick Toomey (PA) and Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher (WI), this legislation would weaken the trade tool that allows our government to act against job-destroying imports. If this bill passes, it will be devastating not only to families just getting back on their feet, but it would also would hinder our ability to address a future trade crisis.
Please ask your Members of Congress to stand up for working class jobs, keep our trade laws strong, and oppose this misguided legislation.
To whom it may concern:
I'm writing to ask you to oppose the Bicameral Congressional Trade Authority Act, sponsored by Senator Pat Toomey and Representative Mike Gallagher. This misguided bill attempts to eliminate the use of an important national security trade tool that is bringing our steel and aluminum production back from the brink of elimination.
Steel and aluminum are used in everything from ships, tanks, and weapons to bridges, rail, our electric grid, and other critical infrastructure. But, for years, government-directed economies like China produced far more steel and aluminum than the world could consume. That excess production swamped our market, closing factories, creating layoffs, and putting our capability to meet critical national security needs at risk.
Last year, the United States took action under Section 232 of our trade laws to finally address the steel and aluminum import surges that imperiled our security and devastated our domestic industries. Steel mills and aluminum smelters are re-opening, and thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in new investments are flowing to devastated communities across America. Our national defense is being put back on sure footing.
Any legislative action to undermine America's trade enforcement tools, therefore, would be a mistake. And the Section 232 national security trade tool should remain available for the current and future presidents in a time of need. Efforts to weaken them, like the Bicameral Congressional Trade Authority Act, would send a signal to our trade partners that Congress isn't serious about defending American workers and companies against trade distortions that threaten our economic and national security.
Keep our trade laws strong.
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