Reposted from the Dayton Daily News
Steve Bennish | June 14, 2012 | Dayton Daily News
KETTERING — A coalition representing manufacturers, farmers, and organized labor held a legislative briefing this week at the National Composite Center and presented a blueprint for international trade reform.
The Coalition for a Prosperous America is organizing support among public officials and businesses for its legislative agenda through presidential election swing states Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan. The group is focusing on manufacturing hubs like Dayton that are rebuilding industry and staking out new business in advanced technologies.
A region-wide manufacturing task force is headed by Dayton City Commissioner Nan Whaley and includes Dennis Rediker, former chief executive of Standard Register and now of Composite Technology Investors LLC, which owns two local manufacturers including an Air Force contractor.
“This is a real issue, not only for the Dayton region but for the country,” Rediker said. “No doubt the policies of the U.S. government are not creating a level playing field at home or abroad.”
The coalition wants the U.S. to adopt a coordinated national trade strategy to achieve balanced trade where exports more or less equal imports, if not exceed them.
The U.S. has been running trade deficits of $600 billion annually, a cumulative deficit of $5.85 trillion in a decade. Critics say poorly enforced trade agreements foster national debt, sap job growth, erode industry, including critical defense work, and has reduce middle-class jobs.
The coalition is pushing for a vote in the House of Representatives on legislation to crack down on currency manipulation by other nations.
A vote has been held up by House Speaker John Boehner, R-West Chester, who has said it could provoke a trade war.