On Capitol Hill, a Discussion of Unfair Chinese Trade

Matthew McMullan

Matthew McMullan Communications Manager, Alliance for American Manufacturing

EPI president: U.S. must "develop and articulate its own long-term economic development strategy."

A Senate Finance subcommittee convened a hearing today to talk about barriers to market entry in China for foreign firms. Its guest list was ideologically diverse – some question President Trump’s tariff policies – but were still remarkably consistent about the need to respond to China's state-directed mercantilism.

“You cannot be a global company and ignore one fifth of the world’s population,” said Dean Garfield, president of the Information Technology Industry Council.

Linda Dempsey of the National Association of Manufacturers called for a bilateral trade agreement between Washington and Beijing.  

Thea Lee, president of the Economic Policy Institute, pointed out that China makes no secrets about pursuing an aggressive long-term industrial policy to boost its economy, often at the expense of its trading partners.

Then Lee said this:

The Chinese government is clearly playing a long game, while the U.S. is egregiously shortsighted. Our trade policies in the past have been so inadequate in scale and slow in implementation that by the time we take action, it is often a decade too late, with the result that our trade actions are ineffective, if not counterproductive.

We need to reform our domestic trade laws so we can act expeditiously. Going forward, we must address new barriers to trade in services and e-commerce. We need to make sure that we have—and are willing to use—measures to address currency misalignment. Our trade enforcement measures should prioritize good jobs, workers’ rights, democracy, environmental compliance, and consumer safety over outsourcing and short-term profits.

In summary, the U.S. government needs to develop and articulate its own long-term economic development strategy. It needs to use domestic tax, infrastructure, and workforce development policies to ensure that American workers and businesses have the tools and skills they need to compete successfully. But the government also needs to strengthen our trade compliance and enforcement measures and be willing to use them aggressively and consistently and in a timely manner to ensure that our trade relationship with China is reciprocal and fair.

Kinda sounds akin to the alarm bell (and call for a national manufacturing strategy) that analysts in the Defense Department have recently sounded.

Watch the entire thing here.

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Reposted from AAM

The Dirty Truth about Janus

The Dirty Truth about Janus

Union Matters

Home Health Care Workers Under Attack

By Bethany Swanson
USW Intern

Home health care workers have important but difficult jobs that require them to work long hours and chaotic schedules to care for the country’s rapidly growing elder population.

Instead of protecting these workers, the vast majority of whom are women and people of color, the current administration plans to make it harder for them to belong to unions, stifling their best chance for improving working conditions and wages.

The anti-union measure would roll back an Obama-era rule that allows home care workers, whose services are paid for through Medicaid, to choose to have their union dues deducted directly from their paychecks.

The goal of the rule, like the recent Janus decision and other anti-union campaigns, is to starve unions out of existence, so they can no longer protect their members.

Home health care workers bathe, dress, feed and monitor the health of the sick and elderly, but they often cannot afford to provide for their own families.

On average, they make little more than $10 an hour and more than half rely on some sort of public assistance. Most receive few or no benefits, even though home care workers and other direct care workers have some of the highest injury rates of any occupation.

That’s why many home care workers have turned to labor unions.

More ...