USW backs President Obama's tire talk

Jan. 26, 2012

In his 2012 State of the Union Address on Jan. 24, President Barack Obama talked tires. The United Steelworkers (USW) union was pleased with his comments.

USW President Leo Gerard had this to say following the address. Here are his official comments in their entirety (with the comments on tire tariffs in bold italics).

"President Obama has listened to us as American workers and laid out a vision of the America we want and need, one that creates jobs and prosperity for us and not the 1% who have looted the economy.

"As a union representing workers in the manufacturing, energy and service sectors, we stand up and fight in support of the president's 'Blueprint for an America Built to Last.' Strengthening American manufacturing by looking to build good jobs, green jobs and sustainable jobs with American energy, skills and values is a program for us.

"The president's commitment to discourage job outsourcing and promote insourcing is a ticket to a better economy. We especially applaud the announcement to renew his policy to get tough on trade enforcement with a new unit to bring together resources and investigators from across the government to go after unfair trade practices in countries around the world, including China.

"He cited enforcement of our Section 421 trade case against Chinese tire imports as an example, and a record of U.S. trade cases against China at nearly twice the rate of the last administration with five World Trade Organization cases against China.

"But the president cannot do this alone. The Congress must now listen and immediately act on a massive scale to pass legislation starting with a major investment in infrastructure. Congress should also work to approve a package of pro-American manufacturing tax incentives for innovation, insourcing, training and domestic capital investments, plus renewable energy to support American jobs.

"American workers and middle class families will respond to his saying everyone must play by the same set of rules and pay their fair share under the 'Buffet Rule.'  Millionaires and billionaires should pay at least the same tax rate as their office secretary.

"The president's record and blueprint are a stark contrast to the Republicans' campaign of obstruction that denies the right of workers to collective bargaining in the private and public sectors. We support President Obama and are ready to go to work."

(For another view, and to find out what the president said, click on "Why President Obama is wrong about his tariffs." To read a blog on the topic, click here.)