America's trade deficit in 2003 exceeded 500 billion dollars. Our country has lost over 3 million manufacturing jobs in just the last three years. Much of the huge trade deficit and staggering job losses that weaken our economy have been caused by unfair trade agreements our present government has signed with foreign countries.
The list of lost jobs shipped overseas to other countries seems almost endless. You hear about it every day in the news - companies closing their doors in Indiana and moving to Mexico, China or some other offshore location. Small business owners, such as tool-and-die shops and molding companies, continually lose bids and contracts to subsidized foreign industries. We watch Northwest Indiana's economy suffer when foreign companies dump steel illegally, and our government makes the situation even worse by removing tariffs designed to rebuild the steel industry. This exporting of American jobs has also now spread to the computer industry and service industries. What job, company, or industry will be the next to go? Who will stand up and fight back for us?
My job as Congressman will be to make sure the economies of LaPorte, Winamac, White County, Argos, Kingsford Heights, and every other community in Indiana's 2nd District flourish. Your jobs come first.
I am a strong believer in fair and free international trade that allows the United States to participate on an even playing field with the rest of the world. Our trade agreements must include enforceable labor and environmental standards. These changes will help safeguard and increase American jobs, promote vigorous trade growth, and provide better living standards for everyone. That is the kind of trade policy that makes sense and the kind of policy I will support in Congress.