May 12, 2015

Manchin Opposes Trade Promotion Authority That Will Hurt West Virginia Workers

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin issued the following statement on his opposition to the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), legislation that would give President Obama fast-track authority to negotiate trade deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

“For the sake of our West Virginia workers and thousands of good-paying jobs, I cannot support this measure that would grant the President the authority to block Congress from weighing in on any pending trade agreements. The bottom line is that, in the past, these kinds of trade agreements have completely crippled our manufacturing sector and left thousands of hard-working Americans without jobs. Since NAFTA went into effect, West Virginia alone lost 30,126 good-paying manufacturing jobs. I truly believe that Congress should have the right to review the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, or any trade deal, and offer amendments to ensure the trade agreement is helping, not hurting, American workers.

“With that being said, I will continue to support Trade Adjustment Assistance, which provides training, assistance and job opportunities for West Virginians and all American workers who have lost their jobs because of foreign trade. While our workers look for new jobs, Trade Adjustment Assistance offers several benefits and services, including job training, job search and relocation allowances, income support, and assistance with health care premium costs.

“West Virginia is home to some of the hardest working people in the world, and we can compete with anyone as long as the playing field is fair. I will continue to fight for West Virginia’s best interests when it comes to trade policy with other countries and to push for solutions that will help create and keep good-paying jobs in our state and nation.”