The Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) Pays Tribute to Senator Arlen Specter, 1930-2012
Senator Arlen Specter, a dedicated public servant and champion for American manufacturing, died yesterday at age 82.
Throughout his career, Senator Specter was known for putting the needs of working Americans ahead of all else and fighting tirelessly to ensure that domestic manufacturers had a chance to succeed when faced with unfair foreign competition. He was outspoken in his support for Buy America preferences and cracking down on China’s currency manipulation. As Chairman of the U.S. Senate Steel Caucus, he advocated for strict enforcement of antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) laws, which he often referred to as the “last line of defense for American workers against unfair foreign competition.”
During countless appearances in hearings at the dull, courtroom-like International Trade Commission (ITC), Senator Specter would use his dry humor to lighten the mood before delivering testimony on behalf of American workers. On at least one occasion, Specter boasted that he was the “most inexpensive” yet “most effective” lawyer in the room. The results of his advocacy were immeasurable, though, and preserved the livelihood of countless workers.
The Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) will hold the Senator's legacy in high regard, and will remember his fierce, independent, and thoughtful deliberation on issues -- one at a time, as he would say. He frequently remarked that in order to get anything done in Washington, one has to be willing to cross party lines. This spirit of compromise is sorely missed in today’s politics.
AAM Deputy Director Scott Boos worked for Senator Specter from 2002-2009. Boos said, “There will never be another man like Arlen Specter. I learned so much from him and will forever be grateful. He took the path less traveled and made a difference.”
AAM has reported on Senator Specter in recent years, including:
12/9/09 Arlen Specter Says China Cheats: Specter was quoted in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, saying, “America’s continued hemorrhaging of manufacturing jobs poses a threat to the future economic health and freedom of the country. The chief threat comes from China and its predatory trading practices.”
2/3/10 America Needs a Manufacturing Strategy: At an event with Democratic Senators carried live by several news networks, Senator Specter told President Obama, “We have lost 2.3 million jobs as a result of the trade imbalance with China between 2001 and 2007. The remedies to save those jobs are very ineffective -- long delays, proceedings before the International Trade Commission, subject to being overruled by the President. We have China violating international law with subsidies and dumping -- really, a form of international banditry. They take our money and then they lend it back to us and own now a big part of the United States.”
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