English seeks trade law reform


WHEATLAND, Pa. — U.S. Rep. Phil English is hoping the third time will be the charm.

He intends this week to introduce to Congress the Trade Law Reform Act of 2007 — legislation similar to trade reform law he has unsuccessfully proposed in his last two terms in Congress.

English, an Erie Republican representing the 3rd Congressional District which includes most of Mercer County, said he’s hoping the change in leadership — with the Democratic Party now in control — will make Congress more open to his trade reforms.

His proposed legislation would reform current laws that require that U.S. manufacturers meet higher standards, as well as create a commission to review World Trade Organization decisions against the United States. The commission also would advise Congress if the WTO exceeded its authority in making a decision.

"My initiative streamlines the process for American companies seeking relief against import surges, illegal imports and other crippling circumstances stemming from unfair trade,” English said in prepared remarks at a press conference Monday at Wheatland Tube, a company that has been troubled by foreign imports in the past.

Just last year the company idled its pipe-making operations at its Sharon plant laying off about 125 workers because of increased imports from China.

Timothy Feeney, Wheatland’s general manager, said the company has tried to be proactive and develop new products, but competing with foreign countries can be difficult.

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