Brown: Trade laws need enforcing

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Brown: Trade laws need enforcing

Herald Star – An extension of trade adjustment assistance and enforcement of existing trade laws, as well as dealing with currency manipulation should be secured before consideration is given to extending free trade agreements with Korea, Columbia and Panama, according to Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.

Brown was joined by Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, on his weekly call to reporters Wednesday. Brown has legislation proposing a five-year extension of the modifications to trade adjustment assistance that were enacted in 2009. The modifications expired in February, taking with them a health care tax credit for workers displaced by trade, as well as assistance for workers in service-based industries. Brown said the trade adjustment assistance still available is only for manufacturing jobs and only for cases where jobs were lost to a nation with which the U.S. has a trade agreement.

He said he favors considering trade assistance to workers separately from the free trade agreements.

Trumka said trade adjustment assistance began in 1962 and has enjoyed bipartisan support as well as support from business and labor.

“It’s the wrong medicine at the wrong time for an ailing economy,” he said of the pending votes on extension of free trade agreements with South Korea or Columbia or Panama.

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