G20 conversation starts on Capitol Hill

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – Congress is about to switch hands and become Republican-controlled. Some lawmakers think that could open the way to major trade deals with China, Japan and Europe.

The effects of global trade are seen around the world; everywhere goods are sold.

That’s exactly why leaders of the world’s largest economies are getting together to talk trade at the G20 Summit.

But they aren’t the only ones talking, our local lawmakers have a lot to say too.

“We saw between 2000-2010, 5 million manufacturing jobs lost in the United States,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH).

Brown said he’s closely watching world leaders at the G20 Summit and he thinks more trade means more jobs in Ohio.

“The G20, just by the rule of law, and making sure that trade enforcement is done fairly and done right, it will continue to contribute to American manufacturing,” he said.

The latest Department of Commerce numbers show Ohio exported nearly 60 billion dollars in goods in 2013 and those exports supported around 259,000 Ohio jobs.

The latest export numbers are up 49 percent – that’s nearly 17 billion dollars from 2009.

“For our part of America, where we make things, it is absolutely vital,” said Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH). “So the president has tried to do more to support manufacturing, look at the refinancing of the auto industry. That’s all on the plus side of the ledger. But we have a long way to go not to just keep cashing out our manufacturing base to the cheapest wage environments in the world.”

It could be transportation equipment, electronics or soybeans, regardless of the product, Kaptur said she’s hopeful G20 negotiations will set the groundwork for Ohio to export more.

“This issue of where manufacturing happens, where jobs are available to people, it affects all of us,” she said.

That’s why summits like the G20 exist – to determine whether or not our local businesses and manufacturers have the opportunity to expand their reach and trade on a level playing field.

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