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Protecting Glassware Industry Jobs in Ohio

Photo by Don Iannone

Ohio is one of the nation’s largest glass manufacturing states. With negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) set to begin this week, U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) are urging the Administration to stand up for critical glassware jobs in Toledo and Lancaster. 

Sens. Brown and Portman sent a letter, which was also signed by nine of their Congressional colleagues, urging United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk to continue to support American glass jobs by maintaining tariffs on imported glassware products. The products of the domestic glassware production sector—including tableware, stoppers, lamps, and lighting fittings—have been categorized as import sensitive products for more than 30 years. These “Made in Ohio” items are manufactured at Libbey, Inc. in Toledo, and Anchor Hocking in Lancaster. 

“Ohio is famous for its finely-made glassware. Both Libbey and Anchor Hocking are household names—and it’s the quality of these products that helped give Toledo its nickname of ‘the Glass City,’” Sen. Brown said. “As Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations continue, we must put American jobs and industries first. Our glassmakers can compete with anyone in the world, but could be seriously undermined by imports from countries seeking to join the TPP. That’s why it’s so critical that the U.S. Trade Representative maintain glassware as an import-sensitive product and enforce existing tariffs to protect Ohio jobs and businesses.” 

During ongoing TPP negotiations, Sen. Brown has repeatedly called on the Obama Administration to enact protections for American jobs and businesses. In October 2011, hesent a letter urging the President to change course in trade policy and rewrite trade rules to put Ohio jobs and Ohio workers first. The letter also requested specific benchmarks on jobs as the U.S.-Korea agreement is implemented and called for a fundamental reorientation of U.S. trade policy. In November, as Japan announced its intent to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Sen. Brown sent another letter to President Obama raising concerns over the existing automotive trade deficit with Japan and seeking more support for American manufacturing in the TPP. 

The full text of the letter is available here.

 

Photo by Don Iannone