Protecting and Growing Manufacturing in Wisconsin
Giving American Manufacturers a Fair Shot
Wisconsin has a long and proud tradition of making things. Not only do we have one of the largest manufacturing sectors in the nation — producing and exporting everything from paper and steel to engines and ships — manufacturing supports a large portion of our workforce and continues to be the backbone of our economy.
Unfortunately, some countries, like China, are engaging in unfair practices that put American manufacturers and workers at a distinct disadvantage. Companies in Wisconsin have experienced the effects of predatory pricing, currency manipulation, theft of intellectual property, and cyber hacking firsthand, which is why Tammy has pushed to crack down on these practices.
The Felker Brothers Corporation, a Marshfield, Wisconsin-based manufacturer of stainless steel piping systems, was forced to make layoffs and reduce worker hours because countries were flooding the market with piping below fair market value:
“It’s a common practice. They sell below cost then raise prices when they own the market once domestic manufacturers are gone.” – Company President Dave Hendrickson
Tammy testified on the company’s behalf before the International Trade Commission, and as a member of the House of Representatives, Tammy introduced the CHEATS Act, a measure that allowed the U.S. to impose duties on Chinese imports that were receiving illegal subsidies from the Chinese government and allowing them to undercut the prices of Wisconsin’s manufacturers.
In the Senate, Tammy sponsored the Level the Playing Field Act, which expands protections for U.S. manufacturers to prevent countries like China from cheating international trade rules by denying employees fair wages, ignoring sustainability practices, and cutting corners on workplace safety.
Supporting the Export-Import Bank
The Export-Import Bank is a self-sustaining government agency that has supported American jobs by helping small businesses and corporations export their goods and services for more than 80 years.
Despite the bank’s record of supporting American businesses and years of bipartisan support, in 2015, the Republican majority in Congress allowed its charter to expire.
Because Wisconsin’s economy relies heavily on exporting our products across the world, Tammy toured the state and fought GOP opposition to reauthorize the bank.
Since 2007, in Wisconsin alone, the Export-Import Bank has supported 27,131 jobs by helping 218 Wisconsin businesses export $5 billion worth of goods and products made in Wisconsin.
Eventually, thanks to Tammy and her colleagues in the Senate, the Export-Import Bank was reauthorized. However Republicans continue to block nominees to the Bank’s Board of Directors, making it impossible for the bank to fully resume its work. Due to the GOP’s actions and the bank’s lapsed charter, Wisconsin’s economy took a hit. General Electric announced plans to stop manufacturing gas engines in Wisconsin because of Congress’ failure to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, which will result in a loss of 350 jobs.
The Export-Import Bank’s charter has been extended until 2019, and with Tammy in the Senate, you can count on her to support Wisconsin’s businesses and continue to fight for an effective Export-Import Bank to increase American exports around the world.
Investing in Manufacturing
For generations, the prosperity and economic security of Wisconsin’s middle class was bolstered by the manufacturing sector. Today, manufacturing is going through a resurgent period that’s responsible for nearly 20% of our nation’s growth and 860,000 new jobs since 2010.
However, there is still a lot more Congress can do to help fully revive our manufacturing economy and build upon the current momentum. That’s why Tammy, along with Senator Chris Coons, launched the Manufacturing Jobs for America (MJA) initiative in the Senate.
The effort focuses on four areas including: investing in America’s workforce, expanding access to capital, opening up markets abroad for American goods, and crafting a national manufacturing strategy.
Thanks to the MJA initiative, 36 different manufacturing bills were introduced and eight were passed into law, including the creation of a national manufacturing strategy to make sure the U.S. industries stay ahead of their competition.
Tammy is also continuing to push for designated “manufacturing universities,” which would help schools’ engineering programs align their curriculum with the needs of high-tech manufacturers.