Trade and Manufacturing
Rochester has a rich economic history, from the Flour City to the world capital of photography and beyond. Products developed and manufactured in Rochester helped to transform the twentieth century, and now the Rochester area is positioned to be a center of innovation long into the future. Congresswoman Slaughter believes that in order to grow Rochester's economy, federal policies must protect American manufacturers and support the creation of more American jobs, especially in the manufacturing sector.
The businesses and workers responsible for building so much of America’s prosperity have been virtually abandoned by thirty years of misguided trade policy. Congresswoman Slaughter knows that we can’t put our economy at risk by making the same mistakes that have devastated manufacturers and the middle class in the past. Beginning with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994, the United States has entered a series of free trade agreements that have not kept their promise of providing markets for American products. Instead, they gave other countries free rein to undercut our manufacturers with cheap labor and lax environmental standards. In the Rochester area alone, the number of manufacturing jobs has been cut in half since NAFTA was implemented. The congresswoman opposed NAFTA and subsequent free trade agreements and will continue to oppose any trade agreement that is a bad deal for U.S. manufacturers and workers.
- Oppose Fast Track of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): Congresswoman Slaughter opposes so-called “fast track” authority, a legislative procedure that amounts to nothing more than a rubber stamp for unwise trade agreements and prevents the people’s elected representatives from making any changes to prospective trade agreements. In 2015, President Obama stepped up his efforts to fast track the TPP, a free trade agreement between the United States and eleven countries around the Asia-Pacific Region. Fast track would prevent Congress from amending the agreement and force an up-or-down vote. Without congressional oversight, Congresswoman Slaughter believes the TPP will become the new NAFTA and will hurt American manufacturing jobs.
- Union and Worker Rights: Labor unions have played a vital role in creating the largest middle class in the world. Unions have fought for important workplace protections, increased wages, and ensured justice for workers. Congresswoman Slaughter continues to work alongside unions and other advocates to improve working conditions and salaries for America's working poor and middle class.
- Support Rochester Business and Technology: Investing in cutting-edge technology for U.S. manufacturers will help American businesses compete in the global economy. That is why the congresswoman is working closely with Eastman Business Park and local businesses and building support for research centers at Rochester’s world-class universities to develop groundbreaking innovations and create new jobs in fields such photonics and optics, biotechnology, and nanotechnology.
- Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership: Congresswoman Slaughter fought for and helped win the Rochester and the Finger Lakes Region’s bid to become one of the first regions in the United States designated as part of the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP). The IMCP gives the region new tools to leverage economic development funds and will strengthen our competitiveness in attracting global investments.
- Reciprocal Market Access Act (RMAA): The bipartisan Reciprocal Market Access Act (RMAA) would require the reduction of foreign market barriers before decreasing U.S. tariffs, a move that would level the playing field for American workers and support American manufacturing jobs. The RMAA would enhance the tools available to our trade negotiators, ensuring that the U.S. is able to achieve real reciprocity in the international marketplace. This legislation, first introduced in 2007, would provide additional leverage for USTR to ensure that trade negotiations fully address the market access problems faced by U.S. producers.
- American Institute for Manufacturing (AIM) Photonics: At the congresswoman’s behest, the Department of Defense (DOD) announced it would commit $110 million in federal funding to build an advanced manufacturing institute focused on integrated photonics as part of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, now known as Manufacturing USA. In July 2015, after more than three years of the congresswoman's tireless advocating for a photonics institute to be headquartered in Rochester, AIM Photonics was awarded to a Rochester-led national consortium – with over $600 million in federal, state, and industry funding. The $250 million in state funding the congresswoman secured for AIM Photonics is being used to establish the institute’s Testing, Assembly, and Packaging (TAP) facility in Rochester at the Eastman Business Park.
- Reducing Embodied energy And Decreasing Emissions (Remade): In January 2017 the Department of Energy (DOE) awarded a RIT-led consortium $70 million in federal funding for new Clean Energy Manufacturing Institute focused on manufacturing sustainability – total investments for the institute will be over $140 million. The congresswoman has supported RIT’s sustainable manufacturing efforts since the inception of the Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies (CIMS) in 1990, which was critical to the RIT-led winning proposal. The congresswoman is committed to a cleaner, more sustainable future, and knows Rochester will be leading the way.
More on Trade and Manufacturing
WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter (NY-25) today voted for a bipartisan compromise to reopen the federal government and bring an end to the Republican shutdown. Slaughter urged Congressional Republicans to work across the aisle to deal with national priorities, which include crafting a long-term spending deal, protecting DREAMers, providing disaster relief, reauthorizing Community Health Centers, and addressing veterans’ health care.
This year might have just come to a close, but there are many key issues on our national agenda that are gaining steam as we head into the New Year. Everything from immigration and children’s health insurance to proposed cuts to the social safety net are all on the docket for 2018.
Last week, I stood in front of the Capitol with my colleagues, surrounded by 400,000 petitions sent to Congress asking the administration to renegotiate NAFTA with the best interests of American workers in mind. I was so proud to be a part of this discussion and want you to know why it’s important for Monroe County and our country.
WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-25) today announced that Harris Corporation will be awarded contract expected to total approximately $40 million from the Department of Defense to equip the new Security Force Assistance Brigade (SFAB) with its radio systems. The Department of the Army announced the creation of the SFAB in February.
WASHINGTON, DC — Rules Committee Ranking Member Louise Slaughter (NY-25) issued the following statement on Republican’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget ahead of a committee meeting on the proposal this afternoon.
WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-25) today announced that Rochester-based photonics manufacturer Lumetrics, Inc. has been awarded $100,000 in federal funding through the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR). This award enables Lumetrics to begin the first phase in its project to improve and modernize the manufacturing of transparent bullet proof glass for the men and women in uniform. Slaughter pushed the Department of the Army to award this competitive funding.
Rochester, NY – Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-25) today congratulated Edward “Ed” White, associate vice president of Test, Assembly and Packaging and corporate outreach for AIM Photonics, on being named chair of the National Photonics Initiative (NPI) Steering Committee. The NPI is an alliance of scientists and industry members that raise awareness of photonics, an industry that supports more than 17,000 jobs in the Rochester region and plays a crucial role in New York’s high-tech economy.
WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-25) today announced that Harris Corporation has been awarded a contract of up to $255 million from the Department of Defense to provide its Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) “Manpack” radio system for the United States Special Operations Command. Slaughter fought relentlessly to change military acquisition policies and end no-bid military contracts so that innovative companies like Harris could compete and win.
WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-25) pushed United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to completely overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as the Trump Administration moves forward with rewriting this failed trade agreement. Slaughter’s call follows the administration’s Federal Register notice for comments as this process gets underway.