From the Office of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi
 

Pelosi: 'American Workers Cannot Wait Any Longer For Help'

February 25, 2004

Washington, D.C. - At a press conference today, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Congressmen Charles Rangel, Sander Levin and Baron Hill urged action on bipartisan legislation to stem the hemorrhaging of American manufacturing jobs. The leaders also announced that House Democrats are filing a discharge petition on the bipartisan Rangel-Crane manufacturing jobs bill.

The following are Pelosi’s remarks:

"Good morning. I am joined today by the distinguished Ranking Member of the Ways and Means Committee, Congressman Charles Rangel, the distinguished Ranking Member of the Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee, Congressman Sander Levin, and Congressman Baron Hill of Indiana, a fighter for America’s working families.

"As we all know, since President Bush took office, manufacturing jobs are hemorrhaging. The President has already lost 2.8 million good paying manufacturing jobs and continues to lose more every single month.

"On March 1st, manufacturers will get hit even harder when the European Union can apply sanctions on American manufacturers.

"These sanctions will affect the backbone of our manufacturing base. American dairy farmers, sugar producers, citrus farmers, iron and copper manufacturers, textile manufacturers, and ranchers will face hundreds of millions of dollars in new tariffs that will make their products harder to sell.

"Sadly, we did not have to get to this point. Democrats have been pushing the Republicans for more than a year to fix this problem, and avoid these sanctions, but the Republicans have been too busy giving tax breaks to those who need them least to get anything done.

"While Democrats have been fighting for solutions, the President and his economic team have been trying to create illusions. They have even raised the question of redefining manufacturing to include fast food workers who make hamburgers in an attempt to show a decrease in the manufacturing job loss numbers.

"All of us here have been fighting for a bipartisan bill - the Crane-Rangel-Manzullo-Levin bill - that would lower taxes for American manufacturers, and keep good paying jobs in the United States. The bill would prevent American manufacturers from facing sanctions. But, the bill, which has more than 150 cosponsors, was never considered in committee or on the House floor because Republican leaders remain focused on the special interests rather than public interests.

"Republicans are putting manufacturing jobs at risk to reward their special interest friends with $40 billion in new tax breaks for big corporations that make things such as bait containers and bows and arrows, and liquor wholesalers. This is ridiculous.

"American workers cannot wait any longer for help. Today, Democrats will file a discharge petition to force a vote on the Rangel-Crane bill. Americans are ready for new economic leadership. They are ready for a change. And Democrats are leading the fight to preserve America’s manufacturing base."

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FACT SHEET:
Democrats Act to Help American Manufacturers
U.S. Firms Face Up to $4 Billion in Trade Penalties Due To Republican Stalling

With more than eight million Americans looking for work and 2.8 million manufacturing jobs lost in the last three years, Democrats are fighting to keep good paying American jobs here at home and create new jobs. But Republican policies reward companies who “outsource” factory and white-collar jobs overseas. Because Republicans refuse to pass a bipartisan manufacturing tax bill, American manufacturers will be faced with hundreds of millions of dollars in European Union trade sanctions starting on March 1, 2004. Today, Democrats launched a discharge petition drive to force the Republican leadership to act on a bipartisan bill to end the sanctions and keep good paying jobs here in America.

2.8 million manufacturing jobs lost since the beginning of the Bush Administration. The Bush economy has had a devastating impact on the nation’s manufacturing sector, with manufacturing jobs lost every month since President Bush took office - bringing U.S. manufacturing employment to a 53-year low.

Outsourcing is not a good thing. The Chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers stated recently that “Outsourcing is just a new way of doing international trade…and that is a good thing.” However, the more than one million workers who have lost their jobs to China, India, the Philippines and other countries over the past three years do not agree with this outrageous statement. Over 14 million jobs - 11 percent of all jobs in the United States - have been identified as at risk of being sent abroad. As many as 3.3 million jobs may be sent offshore by 2015, causing American workers to lose $136 billion in wages. And studies show that over the past two years, industries that are gaining jobs pay 21 percent less annually than those industries that are losing jobs.

EU preparing to levy up to $4 billion in sanctions on struggling American manufacturers. Beginning March 1, Europe plans to retaliate against American manufacturers for continuing a tax subsidy for U.S. exports. The Republican-controlled Congress has had more than a year to fix this problem, but has failed to act. Now, because of Republican inaction, American dairy producers, sugar producers, citrus farmers, iron and copper producers, and cattle farmers are at risk for financial penalties that will make their products harder to sell. Over the next year, farmers, ranchers, and manufacturers could pay hundreds of millions in tariffs on their goods.

Congress has a bipartisan solution to stop the sanctions and create American jobs, but Republicans are refusing to act. More than 154 Members of Congress from both parties have cosponsored legislation that would bring the United States into compliance with the WTO ruling, reduce taxes for U.S. manufacturers, and keep jobs in the United States. The bipartisan Rangel-Crane-Manzullo-Levin bill (HR 1769) would revitalize our manufacturing base by lowering tax rates on all domestic producers, including small businesses and farms, by 3.5 percent. The tax incentives are structured to keep good-paying manufacturing jobs here at home. It is fully paid for, and would not increase the deficit.

Republican bill makes it easier for multinational corporations to move jobs abroad. The Republican plan, which would add $60 billion to the deficit over 10 years, includes a large loophole that allows corporations to outsource almost all of the work needed to make a product and still reap most of the benefits from a tax break for “domestic production.” And it includes billions of dollars in new tax breaks for the off-shore operations of U.S.-based multinational corporations, as well as new subsidies for electronic fish finders, bait containers, bows and arrows, and liquor wholesalers. This plan replaces tax incentives to export American goods with tax incentives to export Americans jobs.

Crisis in manufacturing is bad for economy, industry, and workers. Manufacturing has long been key to the strength of our economy. It provides good jobs and guarantees a high standard of living for America’s working families. In fact, in 2001, manufacturing workers’ earnings were 23 percent greater than those of workers in service sectors of the economy.

Democrats launch discharge petition to force Republicans to act on bipartisan manufacturing tax cut. Democrats launched a discharge petition drive on the bipartisan Rangel-Crane-Manzullo-Levin bill (HR 1769). This proposal will revitalize our manufacturing base by lowering tax rates on all domestic producers, including small businesses and farms. It would encourage job creation and prevent the migration of jobs overseas by providing an incentive for companies to manufacture goods here in America. In addition, Democrats support helping manufacturers develop new technologies, upgrading job training for a high-skilled workforce, and enforcing trade laws to make sure that our manufacturers are not at a competitive disadvantage.

Democrats want to crack down on offshore tax cheats. Democrats have long supported closing tax loopholes for corporations and individuals that move abroad to avoid paying taxes. Democrats have fought to eliminate the use of offshore tax havens, such as Bermuda and Luxemburg, which big corporations use to get out of paying their fair share of taxes.



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