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Barrett Unveils Trade Agenda to Protect Wisconsin Workers and Promote Exports for Wisconsin Businesses

Press Release

Location: Menasha, WI

As LG, Thomas Nelson will Chair Council to Fight Unfair Trade Deals

Standing with workers in the Fox Valley who have have been negatively impacted by wrong and unfair trade deals, Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Tom Barrett and his running mate Thomas Nelson today unveiled a bold new agenda the Barrett Administration will enact to protect our state's workers against outsourcing, and expand export opportunities for Wisconsin businesses.

"Wisconsin has been ravaged by unfair trade deals that have cost thousands of jobs and made the recession gripping the nation even worse here in our state," said Tom. "Wisconsin deserves a Governor who will take real action to prevent the outsourcing of good Wisconsin jobs, while at the same time promoting exports for Wisconsin manufacturers and businesses."

Barrett announced a two-pronged approach he will fight for as governor to protect Wisconsin workers and families from job losses caused by unfair trade deals.

Protecting Wisconsin Workers from unfair trade pacts
As Governor, Tom will fight passage of pending and future unfair trade deals that lead to the destruction of Wisconsin jobs. This includes:

* Creating a Wisconsin Fair Trade Practices Council to act as a watchdog on federal and international trade policies to ensure trade agreements will not lead to the outsourcing of Wisconsin jobs. The council would be made up of state and federal elected officials, economists, international trade attorneys and representatives from organized labor as well as the manufacturing and agriculture industries. As Lieutenant Governor, Thomas Nelson, who is from Kaukauna and understands firsthand the danger of outsourcing caused by unfair trade deals, will serve as chairman of the council.

* Taking an aggressive posture to lobby Congress and the President to oppose unfair trade deals -- much like how Tom Barrett urged President Obama and the Export-Import Bank to reverse its decision on supporting loan guarantees for South Milwaukee-based Bucyrus International and its $600 million deal to sell mining equipment overseas that will support up to 1,000 jobs nationwide.

* Appointing a State-Point-Of-Contact (SPOC) to the Office of the US Trade Representative who will oppose unfair trade deals that threaten our state's workers.

* Supporting development of renewable energy jobs that can't be outsourced by harnessing Wisconsin's natural resources like wind, solar and biomass.

Increasing Exports through fair trade
As Governor, Tom will work to open new markets around the world for Wisconsin products, creating and supporting jobs and boosting business opportunities. This includes:

* Creating a non-profit export finance corporation to provide much needed access to capital for small businesses looking to export. As other states partner with the Export-Import Bank and the Small Business Administration in a similar fashion, and it's critical that Wisconsin continue to be a national leader.

* Providing technical assistance to companies through regional economic development associations to identify international customer bases, and strengthening WMEP's ExportTech program to jump start export opportunties for manufacturers.

* Promoting Wisconsin products around the world and establishing market relationships that increase Wisconsin's brand. Also consider opening international offices that can support Wisconsin manufacturers and small businesses, just as many states across the country have already done. This will be accomplished through Tom's plan to reform and overhaul Wisconsin's economic development tools in a consolidated effort directly in the governor's office.

"I stood up to my president and opposed the NAFTA trade deal because I knew it was bad for Wisconsin workers and families, and this is the same judgment I'll bring to the Capitol as governor," said Tom. "From using the bully pulpit of the Governor's office to stop unfair trade deals that hurt our state's economy, to fighting to open new markets for Wisconsin businesses to sell goods, I will do everything I can to ensure trade deals help, not hurt, Wisconsin."

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