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District Office
1555 Highlands Drive
Suite 110
Lititz, PA 17543
Phone:  (717) 626-1776
FAX:  (717) 626-4234

Capitol Office
51A East Wing
PO Box 202097
Harrisburg PA 17120-2097
Phone: (717) 787-1776


Turning the Tide on American Manufacturing
By Rep. Steve Mentzer (R-Lititz)

For too long in Pennsylvania, we’ve seen our local plants and industries being downsized, with job after job being shipped overseas. And now, saving American manufacturing jobs and rebuilding our manufacturing sector has become a major issue in the 2016 presidential election.

One of the candidates wants to stand strong for American jobs and take back manufacturing from overseas and re-negotiate global trade agreements to be more favorable to the American worker.

But, if we wait on Congress and the federal government to do this, we will continue waiting without results.

It’s time for the Legislature, along with Gov. Wolf, to take whatever steps necessary to stop the outflow of jobs and start bringing them back. Our state has lost more than 100,000 manufacturing jobs in the last 10 years. How many more do we need to lose before realizing this is a major issue facing not only PA, but the United States?

I realize that “saving jobs” is an easy thing to say but harder to actually achieve. Dealing with corporate tax rates, labor costs and environmental regulations are all tough issues to reach compromise on in the state Capitol. While we can all agree that we should be calling on our leaders in Washington, D.C., to put an end to the unfair trade practices that are ravaging our domestic manufacturers, we can also agree that if they were going to do something, they would have acted by now.

Indeed, our economy is becoming more and more globalized. However, our trade deficit with China has increased by over 400 percent since 2000. That’s a 25 percent increase in the trade deficit every year. Something has to be done to curb the flow of cheap foreign products into our markets. The concept of buying products that are “made in America” is a popular one in politics, but if we don’t do something to help save the American manufacturing sector, there won’t be any products left to buy.

I call on my fellow legislators and Gov. Wolf to start having an open and honest conversation about standing up for the American manufacturing sector. Allowing them to continue struggling with no relief is simply unacceptable.
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