As a responsible citizen, I often contact my member of Congress to see what sort of work they are up to in Washington. I have done this since 2002 and will continue to do so as long as I believe in the governmental structure that exists.
Below I have posted the letter I received from my congressman Larry Kissell (D-North Carolina) of the 8th district.
From his words, he seems to be doing the right things in office.
We’ll see if he can accomplish his goals:
April 14, 2010
Thank you for contacting me to share your views on trade. It is good to hear from you, and I would appreciate your continued input on important issues facing our nation.
We are all too familiar with the devastating effects of manufacturing job losses in our region of North Carolina. I spent 27 years working in a textile mill that closed in 2003. While I moved on to teaching, many of my friends lost their jobs as bad trade deals shipped those jobs to other countries.
These unfair trade agreements have resulted in a 29 percent decline in U.S. manufacturing jobs since 1993. We’ve seen it firsthand. Our district was suffering long before the rest of the country felt the impact of the recession. The key to putting folks back to work is the revitalization of U.S. manufacturing. That is why I joined other members on both sides of the aisle as an original cosponsor of H.R. 4759, which would repeal the North American Free Trade Agreement.
These trade deals, while designed otherwise, in fact, discourage investment in American manufacturing facilities while eroding our industrial base. When the U.S. entered into NAFTA, we had a trade surplus of $1.7 billion with Mexico. By 2007, this surplus had turned into a deficit peaking at $75 billion. In 1993, our trade deficit with Canada was $11 billion, and by 2008, it had skyrocketed to $78 billion.
As a member of the House Trade Working Group, I am fighting for legislation to require the U.S. to make honest and comprehensive assessments of our current trade policies and to set us on a path toward new models for trade agreements that protect American jobs. Reducing our trade deficit and energize our manufacturing sector must be priorities in any future trade discussions.
Specifically, I’ve been working on the Trade Reform, Accountability, Development, and Employment Act would renegotiate the three major free trade agreements and establish mandatory core standards to be included in future agreements to preserve and create American jobs and the National Manufacturing Strategy Act which establishes a Manufacturing Strategy Board to conduct in-depth analysis of the industry and develop strategies for enhancing competitiveness and success in the global economy.
I also demanded Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to look into China’s continued manipulation of its currency. China pegs its currency to the U.S. dollar at a fixed exchange rate which allows China to unfairly subsidize its exports and puts foreign imports at a disadvantage.
We all have to do our part as consumers too. We have to pay attention to where the products we buy are manufactured. Buy American has to be more than a slogan. It is patriotic, and we all have to assume responsibility. The effects of the bad trade deals on our district and our manufacturing sector are far reaching and can’t be solved overnight. As I have often said, we won’t have fair trade until the jobs we’ve lost have been replaced. Together, these actions will put our folks back to work.
Thanks again for taking the time to contact me. If you would like to learn more about my positions on the issues or stay updated on important developments in Congress, please visit www.kissell.house.gov and sign up for our E-Newsletter to keep you more informed of my work in Congress. Please check my website for more information. I look forward to hearing from you again soon.
Member of Congress