Manufacture This

The blog of the Alliance for American Manufacturing

A lion of America's productive economy is leaving the Senate.

This afternoon we’ll be taking a break from a busy weekday to honor one of the all-time great champions for American manufacturing – Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) – as he prepares to leave the Senate.

First elected to the United States Senate in 1984, the tenure of Rockefeller is coming to a close as Congress wraps up for the year. With it, the upper chamber will lose a dedicated public servant who has stood with working Americans and fought for American manufacturing each and every day of his distinguished 50-year career.

Sen. Rockefeller, who didn’t seek re-election, has held many important positions in the Senate, including most recently the chair of the Commerce Committee, and he previously wielded the gavel atop the Intelligence and Veterans’ Affairs committees.

From those positions, he’s been on the front lines through a number of battles to ensure that America’s productive sectors have a fair shot at competing in an increasingly global market.

His regular appearances at the International Trade Commission on behalf of domestic steel producers and workers are just one example of his advocacy. And as the longtime chairman of the Senate Steel Caucus, Mr. Rockefeller fought to preserve America’s trade laws and fought for strict enforcement by the executive branch of antidumping, countervailing duty, and safeguard laws – American manufacturing’s last line of defense against unfair foreign competition.

What’s more, his steadfast support for issues like Buy America and cracking down on China’s currency manipulation and other predatory trade practices have paved the way for newer members.

He’s owed a debt of gratitude for all that he’s done for the Mountain State, and for the nation. So if you have a moment today at 3 p.m., we encourage you to also take a break from work and watch Sen. Rockefeller deliver his final speech on the Senate floor. He’ll be live on C-SPAN.