WASHINGTON, Feb. 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United Steelworkers (USW) International Vice President at Large Roxanne Brown testified today before the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee's Subcommittee on Trade, advocating for increased investments and upgrades in U.S. ports, highways, bridges, railways and air cargo facilities as a means to increase exports and grow the economy.
"Every delay from inadequate infrastructure undermines worker productivity and allows for our global competitors to reap the benefit," Brown told the committee. "We strongly urge Congress to increase the country's role in the transportation infrastructure necessary to get our ships and goods across the globe."
The hearing, titled "Trade Infrastructure for Global Competitiveness," came one week after House Democrats unveiled their "Moving Forward Framework," a 5-year plan to invest $760 billion in the nation's infrastructure.
That plan, Brown said, could spur 10 million jobs, reduce greenhouse gasses and jump-start the nation's economy, particularly in the manufacturing sector.
"American manufacturing should be the first priority in an effort to improve export infrastructure facilitation," Brown said. "Our nation needs massive public investment in rebuilding our crumbling and overburdened roads, bridges, rail lines, ports and more."
Investments in transportation improvements not only would lead to an increase in exports, but also would create jobs in manufacturing for workers who make the steel, concrete and other materials needed for the upgrades, as well as the ships and other vehicles needed to carry cargo to its destination.
"If we are going to share our energy resources with the world," Brown said, "our workers need to share in the benefits by providing the materials needed for transport of the vital commodities."
The USW represents 850,000 men and women 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 public sector and service occupations.