The Recorder – Neal’s China business dossier caused massive job loss in his district

Published: 07/10/2022 18:51:45

Modified: 07/10/2022 18:51:29

I was not surprised to see Rep. Richard Neal shed crocodile tears for American workers who lost their jobs as a result of trade dislocations with China. (“Neal addresses cybersecurity, US trade with China,” June 29.)

Rep. Neal has compiled an extremely corporatist track record supporting policies that have caused massive job losses due to trade deals that did not include enforceable provisions against currency manipulation and lacked strong safeguards for workers, consumers and the environment. Conversely, Neal has often failed to use his leadership to support legislation to promote fair trade and workers’ rights by failing to co-sponsor key bills and sign letters urging the executive to take action. necessary measures.

Between 1990 and 2001, Neal voted in favor of most favored nation status for products from the People’s Republic of China. These votes upheld the policy of preferential terms of former President George HW Bush and Bill Clinton, including the lowest U.S. tariffs on imports from China and to stop linking trade policy to human rights abuses. human rights, military actions and nuclear exports by the Chinese.

Thanks to Rep. Neal, our state and congressional district have suffered huge job losses due to his trade votes in China. According to data compiled by the Economic Policy Institute, between 2001 and 2013, Massachusetts had 97,200 net jobs displaced due to our goods trade deficit with China, the ninth-highest number of job losses among the 50 States. In Neal’s congressional district, the job loss was 14,600, placing it 24th among the 435 House districts. This data is for Neal’s former MA-2 district, which he represented until 2013. (24% of the former MA-2 congressional district is now part of the current MA-1 district). Now Neal says ‘a lot of good people got hurt’.

The economic losses in our communities due to shifting production to China or imports from China are numerous and include:

■ Danaher Tool Group in Springfield where 350 hand tool workers were laid off in February 2004.

■ Janna Ugone Associates in Easthampton where 32 employees who made decorative lamps suffered a pink slip in August 2005.

There would be many more sad examples like these in central and western Massachusetts.

Matt L. Barron


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