PITTSBURGH, April 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Democratic Presidential
Candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama vowed to hold China and other
offending countries accountable for unfair trade practices that
disadvantage U.S. workers and manufacturers at a candidate forum this
morning in Pittsburgh. Senator John McCain was invited but unable to
The forum was sponsored by the Alliance for American Manufacturing
(AAM), a non-partisan, non-profit labor-management coalition of the United
Steelworkers and the nation's leading manufacturers forged to strengthen
manufacturing in America.
"Today, voters demanded that their presidential candidates get tough on
China," said AAM Executive Director Scott Paul. "And while the candidates
at today's forum made strong commitments on trade, we must ensure that
their promises become policies that enforce our laws against unfair trade
and defend our workers and domestic industries."
The candidates appeared separately. Each spoke for 20 minutes on trade
and manufacturing issues before fielding several questions from the diverse
audience of over 1,600 union workers, manufacturers, and local elected
officials. AAM principals and partners also addressed the crowd, including
United Steelworkers International President Leo W. Gerard, United States
Steel Corporation Senior Vice President Terrence Straub, Allegheny
Technologies Chief Executive Patrick Hassey and AK Steel Chief Executive
"China must stop manipulating its currency because it's not fair to
American manufacturers, it's not fair to you, and we are going to change it
when I am President," said Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) in his remarks to forum
attendees, where he also criticized trade agreements like NAFTA. He pledged
to "fight for manufacturing, modernize the steel industry, strengthen our
manufacturing base, and have a manufacturing policy to open as many markets
as we can for American workers."
"I'm calling for changing our laws to send China a message," said Sen.
Hillary Clinton (D-NY), who outlined her trade agenda to the audience and
highlighted national security concerns related to unfair trade. "If you
subsidize your exports and hurt our manufacturers, you'll pay a price." She
argued that "you cannot be a strong nation without a strong manufacturing
The candidate forum is part of a larger effort by AAM to highlight the
impact that China's unfair trade practices have had on American workers and
manufacturers. AAM has called for stronger enforcement of U.S. trade law
and last week launched a statewide advertisement and grassroots campaign
entitled, "China Cheats. Pennsylvania Loses." A PDF of the ad is posted at:
AAM Executive Director Scott Paul applauded the candidates for their
willingness to engage on the issues before a largely Pennsylvania audience
one week before that state's Democratic primary election. "Senators Obama
and Clinton faced an audience who believe that jobs and manufacturing
issues are at the heart of this election and they were gratefully
AAM has also launched CandidateWatch
(http://candidatewatch.manufacturethis.org/), a website that tracks what
the Presidential candidates are saying, or not saying, about their plans to
stop China from cheating on trade agreements.
The damaging effects of unfair trade are clear across the state. AAM's
analysis of Economic Policy Institute data found that Pennsylvania lost
78,200 jobs from 2001-2006 (all sectors) as a result of the U.S. trade
deficit with China [source: EPI, 'Costly Trade with China'], for an average
of 15,640 lost jobs per year. Using an identical analysis, AAM found that
Pennsylvania lost 44,173 jobs from 1993-2004 (all sectors) as a result of
NAFTA, for an average of 4,016 jobs lost per year [source: EPI, 'Revisiting
"If the presidential candidates want to save Pennsylvania jobs, they
should commit to fighting China's illegal trade practices such as dumping,
subsidies, and currency manipulation," said Paul, noting that the U.S.
racked up record annual trade deficits in 2007 with both China ($256
billion) and its NAFTA partners ($138 billion). "We can no longer allow
China to chip away at the foundation of America."
A state-by-state breakout of U.S. jobs lost to China is available at:
TEXT OF AD:
China Cheats. Pennsylvania Loses.
Demand that the candidates put a stop to the cheating by enforcing our
laws against unfair trade.
Pennsylvania has lost 207,400 manufacturing jobs since 2000. Why?
Because too many in Washington are unwilling to enforce our laws against
unfair trade, allowing countries like China to cheat, and putting U.S.
workers and manufacturers at a disadvantage. Want proof? Our soaring $256
billion annual trade deficit with China has cost Pennsylvania alone more
than 78,000 jobs and more than 1.8 million jobs nationwide.
We need a President and a Congress who will stand up to China. Until
then, China will continue to illegally subsidize their industries, keep the
value of their currency low, dump their products in the U.S. and steal our
jobs. Don't let them get away with it.
The non-partisan, non-profit Alliance for American Manufacturing is a
labor-management partnership between the United Steelworkers and major
manufacturers, including Pennsylvania-based United States Steel Corporation
and Allegheny Technologies.
SOURCE Alliance for American Manufacturing