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This Week in Washington


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American workers are the best in the world, and I am determined to do all I can to remind the world of that fact.

One of the best ways to accomplish this is to bring representatives of other nations, as well as foreign investors, to our state to show them just how capable our workers can be. Following a decade in which American investment and jobs have poured overseas, I am fighting to buck that trend by bringing overseas investment and jobs back home to the 8th District.

It seems to me that all too often the conversation about "The Global Economy" or "The Global Marketplace" always centers on the advantages of bringing foreign-made goods into America, often at the expense of American jobs. I believe it is time for us to work to turn the tables on this equation, and for our great nation to function in the global marketplace as something other than a consumer. Our nation and its workers can compete globally, and it is time we brought more jobs and industry here from abroad. If we are to compete and be a power in the global economy, we must maintain a robust share of the manufacturing and technology jobs that fuel that economy.

This week, I will host the first of several Reverse Trade Missions in the 8th District. A delegation from the Israeli Embassy, led by Deputy Consul General Sharon Kabalo, will be in the District to meet with local businesses and community leaders. The purpose of such a meeting is clear. I want people the world over to realize the potential we have here for growth, for innovation, and for excellence. We need our businesses to sell to the world, and our workers need the world to bring its jobs here.

I am proud of the 8th District. I have spent my entire life here. I know, at times, I can even be a bit annoying to those who are not from here, explaining to them that the most skilled workers and the best quality of life and the best and most down-to-earth people anywhere are right here. I can't wait to make that case to the rest of the world. I believe in the potential of our people and our communities. I am going to share my belief in that potential with as many investors, entrepreneurs, marketers, buyers and trade representatives as will sit still to listen to me.

There is another reason, in addition to our need for jobs and my pride and love for my home, that has motivated me to bring the world to the 8th District: Government has worked to hurt our economy for so long, I feel an obligation to use whatever access and influence I have to help turn the tide and bring jobs back to our district and our state. It is not the role of government to create jobs. That much is true. But nor should it have been the role of our government to facilitate in the shipping overseas of hundreds of thousands of jobs over the previous decade. Our government has an obligation to do all it can do to create an environment in which industry and business can prosper, and people can work and earn a good living making things.

Our district continues to suffer from unacceptable double-digit unemployment, and all our people need to get back on their feet and back to work is a sporting chance to compete--a chance denied them by unfair trade deals, and the failure to enforce the trade deals that have been made. The series of upcoming Reverse Trade Missions is another step to help stem the exodus of jobs overseas by attempting to bring offshore customers and investments into our district. Our people have given away enough to the Global Economy; it is time to go out and bring back home the benefits of foreign trade and international partnerships. And those benefits are jobs, investments and customers for the goods we make here.

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