US Senator Claire McCaskill

Claire's Comments

Claire McCaskill is Missouri's senior U.S. Senator and the top-ranking Democrat on the Senate Committee on Aging.

Missouri Manufacturers Deserve a Level Playing Field

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

When I go to bat for Missouri jobs, there's one thing I know for sure--if our manufacturers can compete on a level playing field, they'll often win.

That goes for companies making everyday consumer products, to those manufacturing the backbone of our state's infrastructure--the support frames for our homes and businesses, the light poles that dot our highways, the hand rails in our schools, and the agricultural tools used by our farmers and ranchers.

A lot of these vital products are made right here in Missouri--manufactured by companies like Bull Moose Tube Company, which employs more than 160 Missourians in its St. Louis and Gerald, Mo. locations. Or EXLTUBE, home to more than 100 workers in its North Kansas City mill. It's these folks who are creating the infrastructure that makes our economy tick and our lives run more smoothly.

These products are a perfect example of American-made infrastructure we use every day, often without us even realizing it. So when Missouri jobs suffer because of unfair trade practices, I can't sit still.

These very companies had been put at an unfair disadvantage by their foreign competitors from Korea, Mexico, and Turkey, who were illegally "dumping," or setting their prices below the cost to produce, just to undercut U.S. prices.

So I jumped at the opportunity to testify on behalf of these companies to the International Trade Commission--which investigates trade matters.

And I'm glad to say we've won the fight.

The Commission recently voted 4-2 in favor of these Missouri companies--leveling the appropriate taxes on these illegally subsidized foreign imports. The Commission understood that Missouri manufacturers rely on the enforcement of our trade laws.

This isn't the first time I've fought for Missouri's employers. I've also successfully testified on behalf of Hayes Lemmerz of Sedalia and several die-casting companies in Palmyra, Mexico and Perryville, who were being undercut by unfair foreign trade practices. I passed into law a measure giving the Commerce Department authority to strengthen U.S. enforcement against foreign competitors who unfairly exploit out-of-date trade policies. And I worked to target the often too-complicated trade process for Missouri's manufacturers--working across the aisle with my colleague Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, and with the Missouri and U.S. Chambers of Commerce, to pass into law a plan to simplify and streamline trade processes in the global market.

Missouri manufacturers bolster our economy creating products that help improve our daily lives. And when their playing field is level, we all succeed.

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill is a member of the Senate's Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.