TRADE AND GLOBALIZATION ASSISTANCE ACT OF 2007 -- (House of Representatives - October 31, 2007)
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Mr. PATRICK J. MURPHY of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to support much-needed economic redevelopment through the Trade and Globalization Assistance Act. This forwarding-thinking legislation will ensure that America's workers receive the training and assistance they need to compete in the global economy.
Globalization has had a significant impact on the American workforce, but our national policies have not kept pace with international economic changes. Gone are the days when men and women began and ended their careers at a steel or textile mill. Now, even customer service professionals and software engineers are losing jobs to overseas competition.
Thirty years ago, in my district in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, more than 46,000 people were employed in manufacturing jobs. Like many other working-class communities, my district suffered severe job loss when foreign competition forced major employers like US Steel, Jones Apparel and Rohm and Haas to shut-down most of their operations. By 2005, manufacturing employment in Bucks County had fallen 34 percent. The departure of manufacturing jobs resulted in vacant properties, abandoned buildings and contaminated land--and in Bristol, Pennsylvania, crumbling roads and poor drainage put families at risk during a recent flood. But most of all, the decline in manufacturing jobs decline left thousands of middle class workers out of a job.
Mr. Speaker, the Trade and Globalization Assistance Act makes substantial improvements to the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program and gives communities like mine a chance.
Through the Manufacturing Redevelopment Zone Program, this legislation will provide important tax incentives to cities and towns like those in my district that have suffered substantial reductions in manufacturing employment. Communities designated as manufacturing redevelopment zones will have a second-chance to revitalize their economy by attracting new investments that will create family-sustaining jobs. This program will help lift-up some of our Nation's poorest communities, but it is also a chance to demonstrate our commitment to American innovation.
While towns in my district still face many challenges, lower Bucks County has begun to turn the comer. Over the past 5 years, we have worked hard attract new investment, support workforce development and improve infrastructure.
The ongoing redevelopment at a former US Steel site is an outstanding example of my community's potential. Through incentives and a commitment to revitalization, that site is now home to a clean wind power manufacturer that employs over 800 people. More high-tech, green energy companies plan to open facilities in the near future. We have made great progress, but there is more work to be done.
The additional incentives provided under a manufacturing zone designation would allow towns in lower Bucks County to make infrastructure improvements, cleanup brownfields, attract new investments and create jobs. Through ingenuity and good old fashioned American competitiveness we will move even closer to economic revitalization and energy independence.
Mr. Speaker, Lower Bucks County has enormous potential and I pledge to do everything I can to encourage economic growth and support middle class families in my district. Towns in my district are still struggling and I am proud to partner local leaders and the business community to support economic development.
By passing this bill, we give hard working Americans the support they need and strengthen a foundation for economic leadership. I urge my colleagues to support this critical piece of legislation.
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