ICYMI: Former Gov. Ted Strickland: Protecting steelworkers must be a priority [Canton Repository]

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Former Gov. Ted Strickland: Protecting steelworkers must be a priority
Canton Repository, Ted Strickland
June 4, 2016
http://www.cantonrep.com/article/20160604/OPINION/160609725/0/SEARCH

Growing up, my father worked in a steel mill in New Boston. It was hard work, but it was good work. It was the kind of job that helped a lot of Ohioans build a good life for themselves and their families.

I don't have to tell Ohioans about how our steel industry has been hit hard. We're living it.

I visited Lorain last month and spoke with steelworkers, many of whom had worked at U.S. Steel and Republic Steel. Those plants announced they were shuttering and idling and now these workers and their families are facing incredible hardships.

These layoffs are not happening because these steelworkers didn't work hard enough, or because they did something wrong.

They're happening, in part, because our leaders in Washington are not doing enough to stop unfair trade policies.

To stop the loss of our steel jobs we need to stop these terrible trade deals. We'll never level the playing field for workers when politicians are rubberstamping unfair deals like NAFTA, CAFTA, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Permanent Most Favored Nation Trade Status for China.

I've consistently opposed these harmful trade deals, and in the U.S. Senate I will continue doing everything I can to protect American jobs.

One commonsense thing we can do is to stop politicians and wealthy special interests from negotiating trade deals in secret. That's why I'm pushing for enhanced transparency and stakeholder involvement in trade negotiations: The draft of any trade deal should be publicly available at least 90 days before Congress votes on it. There also needs to be a period for public comment, so that working people can make their voices heard.

We also need to stand up to China and stop them from continuing to undercut our steel market. Currently they're trying to get a new trading status called Market Economy Status that would limit our ability to hold them accountable. Last month, I sent a letter to President Obama and our trade representatives urging them to formally oppose granting China these new trade protections.

I'm also calling for aggressive enforcement of trade laws already on the books. The Government Accountability Office found that the U.S. hasn't been taking consistent enforcement actions against countries that break the rules. We need to give our trade agencies the resources they need to effectively enforce our trade laws, and demand accountability from those in charge of trade enforcement.

I'm the son of a steelworker. I grew up with working people and have never forgotten where I came from. And I will never stop working until communities like Lorain are no longer devastated by terrible trade policies.

Ted Strickland is the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate. He was the governor of Ohio from 2007 until 2011. He represented Ohio's 6th District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1997 until 2007.

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For Immediate Release: June 6, 2016
Contact: David Bergstein or Liz Margolis, press@TedStrickland.com

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