New Legislation Aims to Strengthen Trade Enforcement and Boost U.S. Manufacturing

By Elizabeth Brotherton-Bunch
Jun 06 2017 |
Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) tours a Girl Scout uniform manufacturing plant in New Jersey in 2012. Pascrell recently introduced legislation to spur factory job growth and bolster trade enforcement. | Office of Rep. Bill Pascrell via Flickr

The Jobs & Trade Competitiveness Act contains 12 comprehensive policy proposals.

While President Trump turns his attention to infrastructure this week (and um, tweets about some other stuff), lawmakers on Capitol Hill are pushing new legislation to encourage manufacturing job creation.

Introduced by Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.), the Jobs & Trade Competitiveness Act contains 12 concrete proposals designed to spur factory job growth and provide new tools to enforce U.S. trade laws. Included in the bill are provisions to require more funding for trade enforcement and the creation of a non-partisan congressional office to work on trade enforcement issues.

“The American people have waited too long for fairer trade policies that benefit all workers, not just those at the top,” Pascrell said in a statement. “Recent rhetoric from the Trump administration and Congressional Republicans leads me to believe they’ve had a change of heart and may be interested in pursuing these forms. I hope they will immediately support this bill.”

The legislation also would provide a tax credit to businesses that move a production line, trade or business located outside of the country back to the United States; allow the Commerce Department to impose countervailing duties to offset the impact of currency manipulation on U.S. industry; and establish an independent commission to review World Trade Organization decisions. Additional provisions the creation of a chief manufacturing negotiator and chief trade prosecutor.

Pascrell is the ranking Democrat on the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade. Cosponsors of the bill include many of his Democratic committee colleagues, such as Reps. Sander Levin (Mich.), Linda Sanchez (Calif.), Brian Higgins (N.Y.), Terri Sewell (Ala.), Suzan DelBene (Wash.), and Judy Chu (Calif.).  

The bill also has support from organizations such as the AFL-CIO, United Steelworkers, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) and us here at the Alliance for American Manufacturing. Learn more about the legislation here.