Your help really paid off
To the Editor:
I want to personal thank Local 900 and the NewPage Rumford Mills Management Team for their cooperation as we worked on the threat to the American auto parts industry.
Your help really paid off big time on September 17th, when President Obama announced that his administration was filing a case against Chinese auto parts “export bases” at the World Trade Organization.
Since January 30, 2012, when a coalition of unions, companies and elected officials launched the effort to get action to save our 1.6 million auto parts jobs, lots of work has been done. One hundred and eighty eight members of Congress were persuaded to send a letter to the administration, supporting action to halt China’s illegal subsidies on auto parts. Behind the scenes, our leadership, legislative, and trade experts continuously pressed Washington to pay attention.
Tens of thousands of post cards were collected. Thousands of calls and visits to auto parts manufacturing facilities were done. Individual visits to Congressional Offices were conducted to educate staff and urge action. For seven and a half months, this grassroots effort asked a nation to wake up to an assault on one of the core parts of American manufacturing before it was gone, and all of you helped make it work.
This action on auto parts is significant in several ways. It brings the full power of the federal government behind the enforcement process and puts China on notice that they will not steal these jobs and these factories. It also is an effort to stop jobs from being offshored before it happens. All too often we win trade actions, but the jobs are gone.
We have seen this administration levy penalties in the pipe and tube industry, tires, coated paper, and more. The auto manufacturing rescue averted a disaster for domestic manufacturing. There is much yet to be done. We need to revisit the design of our trade agreements, we need a comprehensive manufacturing revitalization policy and we need to see currency manipulation addressed.
As the saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day, but we need to appreciate the significant action that has resulted in real jobs and real opportunity for American workers.
North East Field Coordinator,
Alliance for American Manufacturing