WASHINGTON, May 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Exit polls from the Indiana and North Carolina primaries clearly showed that the economy tops the list of voter concerns. In Indiana more than six in 10 voters said the economy was the most important issue facing the country - the highest percentage in any state that has voted to date. As Senators Obama and Clinton move their campaigns to West Virginia, they will again be competing for working class votes. A major component of voters' economic concerns stems from the toll our flawed trade policies - and particularly our trade imbalance with China - have taken on American manufacturing. "As the nomination battle continues, West Virginia continues to lose jobs to China's illegal trade practices. A common thread exists between Indiana and West Virginia that will likely define the coming race - workers and manufacturers in both states are feeling the harsh effects of our flawed trade policies," said Scott Paul, executive director of the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM). AAM brought its influential advertising and grassroots campaign to West Virginia today. The campaign - "China Cheats, West Virginia Loses" - arrives after its high-profile runs in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana, where it targeted the presidential candidates and successfully shifted the national trade debate from NAFTA to China. The "China Cheats" ads will appear in three media markets across the state, including Parkersburg, Wheeling, and Charleston. A PDF of the ad is posted at: http://www.americanmanufacturing.org/issues/china-cheats/ AAM is a unique partnership of labor and management including the United Steelworkers and several leading U.S. manufacturers. Members of AAM Action, which includes retired and active manufacturing workers, will be deployed across the state to press the candidates on trade and China issues. THE FACTS: Manufacturing accounts for $5.5 billion of the state's GSP, the number one contributor to the state's economy, and voters want to know what the candidates are going to do to protect it from unfair trade. The damaging effects of unfair trade are clear across the state. AAM's analysis of Economic Policy Institute data found that West Virginia lost 8,400 jobs from 2001-2006 (all sectors) as a result of the U.S. trade deficit with China [source: EPI, 'Costly Trade with China']. The state has lost more than 17,300 manufacturing jobs since 2000. The U.S. racked up record annual trade deficits in 2007 with both China ($256 billion) and its NAFTA partners ($138 billion). The Alliance for American Manufacturing is a non-partisan, non-profit labor-management partnership forged to strengthen manufacturing in the U.S. AAM promotes creative policy solutions on priorities such as international trade, energy security, health care, retirement security, currency manipulation, and other issues of mutual concern. For more information: www.americanmanufacturing.org.
SOURCE Alliance for American Manufacturing