PITTSBURGH, Sept. 27, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- United Steelworkers (USW) International President Tom Conway released the following statement today condemning Republican blockage of Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) and other worker-friendly measures from upcoming appropriations legislation:
"Tens of thousands of USW members work in industries that are vulnerable to unfair trade, and for decades, they and other workers relied on the Trade Adjustment Assistance program to help them reskill and establish new careers when unfair trade killed their jobs.
"The USW began sounding the alarm more than a year ago when it became clear that a number of congressional Republicans intended to block reauthorization of this vital program, which will fully expire at the end of this month.
"Since then, Congress missed a series of opportunities to reauthorize TAA as a result of Republican obstruction, and Republicans are now yet again standing in the way of helping working families by blocking job training funds that should be going to their own states.
"The U.S. government collects tens of billions of dollars in duties, taxes, and fees from imports. When TAA costs only a tiny fraction of that amount, it's unconscionable that any elected leader would attempt to derail a well-established and highly efficient opportunity to retrain displaced workers.
"Unfortunately, this stance on TAA is part of a larger pattern of Republicans blocking measures that would help workers on trade.
"Some have tried to roll back Section 301 and 232 tariffs that protect jobs in our key industries. Others have voted against closing loopholes in our existing trade rules. And Senate Republicans blocked important, new legislation, the Leveling the Playing Field Act 2.0, that would have improved our defense against illegal trade practices.
"Republicans like to talk tough, but their failure to follow through leaves workers holding the bag when they lose their jobs due to unfair trade. Now with the continuing resolution, it's past time to take decisive action to help working families."
The USW represents 850,000 workers employed in metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in health care, public sector, higher education, tech and service occupations.
Contact: Jess Kamm Broomell, 412-562-2444, [email protected]
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)