Slaughter Joins with Local Manufacturers To Push Fair Trade Message

April 2010

Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-28) met with local manufacturers to reaffirm her support for a fair trade policy that supports local workers and put America on a level playing field with our trading partners.

“It’s my belief that you can’t be a superpower if you don’t make anything and right now America is at a disadvantage. I’m looking to change that,” said Slaughter.
She was surrounded by representatives from local manufacturers PGM, Rochester Tooling & Machining Association, XLI Corporation, German Machine, Murphy Nolan and Car Engineering.

“The U.S. is already the most open market in the global economy but current trading laws do not require the same level of openness from our trading partners. U.S businesses face export barriers in other countries while we open our doors to other nation’s imports, and that’s not fair,” said Slaughter who is considered one of Washington’s leaders on fair trade issues.

“The sad fact is that unfair trade agreements like NAFTA, and Permanent Most-Favored Trading Status with China – both of which I voted against by the way – leave our nation open and vulnerable to outsourcing and limit U.S. companies ability to compete. As a result, we in Upstate New York, have seen a steady stream of jobs leaving our communities – leaving empty warehouses, a struggling middle class, and a depressed economy behind.”

In October, Slaughter reintroduced legislation that would force our trading partners to reduce their trade barriers before being allowed to import their products in the United States. The Reciprocal Market Access Act will create a level playing field to protect American workers. It will ensure that our trade policies are actually creating opportunities, allowing our manufacturing industries to tap into new markets.

“My bill specifically instructs our U.S. Trade negotiators to eliminate foreign market barriers before we reduce U.S. tariffs. Unless other governments play by the rules and remove their regulations that stop U.S. products from being sold in their countries, then the U.S. will not disarm and drop our tariffs.”

Slaughter’s legislation, the Reciprocal Market Access Act, has been supported by the Alliance of American Manufacturing and Corning, Inc.

Summary of the Reciprocal Market Access Act:

The legislation is designed to ensure that our trade negotiations achieve real and meaningful market access for our producers.

Authority to receive or eliminate tariffs in trade agreements is tied to achieving meaningful market access for U.S. domestic producers that have identified and worked with the U.S. government to address those barriers.

To better ensure meaningful market access, the bill requires that the President provide a certification to the Congress in advance of agreeing to a modification of any existing duty on any product, that sectoral reciprocal market access has been obtained.

This will enhance the partnership with Congress and achieve reciprocal market access.

It gives the government the automatic negotiated right to revoke concessions to cut tariffs if our trading partners don’t implement the commitments they made to open up their markets.

This authority, known as “snap back” authority, could be triggered by a private sector or Congressional request. The goal – and the result – will be reciprocal market access for our nation’s products.

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