Jobs and the Economy
Every family in America should be safe, healthy, and economically secure. This means, in part, ensuring an economy that works for all Oregonians while safeguarding our environment through smart investments and appropriate oversight of the economic system.
In recent years, the percentage of Americans able to find good jobs has decreased, incomes have stagnated for all by the richest people, and Americans are feeling less secure in their economic well-being. Earl believes we need to do more to address income inequality, create good jobs, increase the federal minimum wage and lift working standards to promote a society that grows together, and ensure that economic shocks, like losing one’s job or a major illness, don’t become economic catastrophes for people. Passing Raise the Wage Act of 2019 that would increase the minimum wage across the country would be a step in the right direction.
Earl also supports an increase in the earned income tax credit that would increase the wages of the lowest income workers, particularly people with children. He also is pushing for more paid family leave on the national level.
Earl is also an advocate for the rights of workers to organize and believes that a vibrant union movement is key to the continued strength of the middle class.
The U.S. must do everything it can to protect and grow our manufacturing base, and high-level research and development. Key to this effort is fair labor standards and strong trade enforcement, ensuring other countries adhere to their commitments.
As a member of the Ways and Means Committee and Chairman of the Trade Subcommittee, Earl has been working hard to dramatically change U.S. trade policies so that the rules of competition are fair and inequitable barriers to our products are removed because when America can compete on a level playing field, our economy grows and family wage jobs are strengthened. He is pushing for a new era of trade that reflects changes in the economy, new technology and the global community. Key to this is stronger enforcement of trade agreements and higher environmental standards.
In considering America's approach to trade, Earl is working with organized labor and international labor unions that have been deeply affected by the global economy. Their perspective about the challenges and opportunities going forward with trade policies and enforcement is a critical part of a new trade paradigm for the country.
Much of Earl's work on trade has been a push to transform trade agreements and trade enforcement as a means to not only ensure that the U.S. competes on a level playing field, but are also used to increase the quality of life for the average citizens living in the countries we’re negotiating and trading with.
He also knows that trade done right can help the environment. For example, through a bill he introduced and passed, the Legal Timber Protection Act, trade enforcement has been used to limit illegal logging in other countries. Working with American timber workers, the forest products industry and environmentalists in a crusade against foreign cheaters, his model legislation has been copied by other nations and overall has resulted in a 40% reduction in illegal logging globally.
For more information about Earl's work and views on Jobs and the Economy, please contact the office.