To the Editor:
Over the past 18 months, I have been invited into many of the small businesses in our district which manufacture everything from specialty label equipment and parts to small assemblies and pressure gauges. Most recently, I visited WIRE-Net, an organization which serves manufacturers and works to strengthen the business climate for manufacturing in northeast Ohio.
Throughout these visits, I have listened to workers, business owners, and trade representatives to learn what must be done to ensure financial stability for our businesses and families, as well as propel an expansion of economic opportunities to create jobs to put Ohioans back to work. Their suggestions have led to legislation I introduced to reform Ohio’s online business resource center, renew our commitment to trade education and college workforce preparation, and revise our tax code to simplify and incentivize purchases of capital equipment for our manufacturers.
There is no question, however, that we must do more. Unfortunately, Washington is standing in our way on the path toward more Ohio jobs. In addition to implementing a truckload of stifling new regulations that are hampering job creation, President Obama audaciously told Ohio manufacturers he planned to get tough on China by filing a complaint with the World Trade Organization. Mr. President, for four years you have neglected Ohio’s manufacturers by refusing to use your power to cite China as a currency manipulator which would have saved thousands of Ohio jobs.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, over the past decade unfair trade practices originating in China have resulted in the loss of over 103,000 Ohio jobs – almost 70 percent in the manufacturing field, one of our state’s top sources of jobs. From Cleveland’s suburbs to the Mahoning Valley, small businesses have been forced to lay off workers and shutter their doors for good. This is not because our workers lack the skills to compete internationally, but rather because they are not allowed to do business on a level playing field.
Not only do we need leaders who believe in American businesses and the American worker, we need leaders who are willing to enforce the trade agreements which were negotiated in good faith on behalf of the American people. Unfair trade with China has foreclosed on the opportunity for too many Ohioans to prosper, and I believe more must be done to reverse these job-killing policies.
I have been working to combat the unwillingness of the bureaucrats and politicians in Washington, who will not enforce the rules and level the playing field for the best workers building the best products in the world. Most recently, the Ohio House unanimously passed my resolution, H.R. 384, urging the president to cite China as currency manipulator. If 90 Democrats and Republicans in the Ohio legislature can put aside our differences and fight for the American manufacturing sector, why can’t the President of the United States?
By creating a fair environment in which our workers can compete, we will help our small businesses put Ohioans back to work manufacturing the high-tech goods Americans need and the world wants.
State Representative Mike Dovilla