July 13 - Ed. Note: Four leading Republicans were also invited.  Candidates had about an hour.  Biden, Edwards and Kucinich spoke for about half the time and then took questions; Clinton spoke for most of her time and did not take questions.

PRESS RELEASE from United Steelworkers
July 2, 2007
Wayne Ranick 
Tony Montana 

USW Hosts Presidential Candidates’ Forum on Renewing American Manufacturing

Former vice presidential candidate John Edwards, Senator Joe Biden, Senator Clinton, Congressman Dennis Kucinich, others to address USW political activists

WHO:             United Steelworkers (USW) International president Leo W. Gerard, along with more the 800 USW political activists throughout the U.S.; presidential candidates Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Dennis Kucinich;  other elected officials including Congresswomen Stephanie Tubbs-Jones and Betty Sutton, and Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson.

WHAT:          A forum on renewing American manufacturing and to discuss political activism
WHEN:          Thursday, July 5 and 6th.

Thursday, July 5

                        10:00 a.m.      Opening by Leo W. Gerard
                                              Welcome by Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs-Jones
                       11:00 a.m.       Senator Joe Biden

                       1:00 p.m.         Former Senator John Edwards

                       2:15                Congressman Dennis Kucinich

                       3:30                Congresswoman Betty Sutton

                       4:00                Mayor Frank Jackson

Friday, July 6

                      9:00 a.m.         Senator Hillary Clinton

                     10:00 a.m.       AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer Richard Trumpka:
                                            Economics, Education & Mobilization Training

                     11:00              USW Political Department Presentation*

                     12:00              Closing Remarks by Leo W. Gerard*

     * Not open to the media

WHERE:       Crowne Plaza Cleveland City Centre Hotel Ballroom; 777 Saint Clair Ave.

WHY:            Working families and communities throughout the U.S. have been  devastated by the demise of manufacturing. To keep America strong, the U.S. must develop a public policy strategy to renew a manufacturing base that creates good paying jobs for workers and a solid tax base for communities.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE      June 30, 2007

Questions for Presidential Candidates on Renewing Manufacturing Forum

1. Our current trade policies have already wiped out more than three million manufacturing jobs.  What are you prepared to do to stop the bleeding?

2. Many politicians say that, given a level playing field, American workers can compete against anybody.  Yet, the reality is that we’re competing with workers in nations where workers are paid dirt cheap wages and have their human rights routinely violated.  Given these realities, what specific steps are you prepared to take to create a level playing field, one that raises the standards of living for workers in the developing world without lowering ours?

3. Are you willing to enforce tariffs on China when evidence documents that it is gaining an unfair competitive advantage by subsidizing the manufacture of products being exported to the U.S.?

4. A clean energy economy has the potential to revitalize American manufacturing.  What level of public investment are you will to propose in order to speed the advance of clean energy and what steps are you willing to take to ensure that these are U.S. jobs?

5. The skyrocketing cost of health care is jeopardizing the ability of unions to keep employer-paid coverage in our contracts, undermining our employers’ competitive standing, and jeopardizing – often destroying – the health security of retirees.  What will you do to deal with this crisis?

6. Will you aggressively support public financing of political campaigns or a Constitutional Amendment to provide public financing in order to break the grip that special interests, such as the drug and insurance industries, have on our democracy?

7. Some corporations are manipulating our trade policies to employ child labor and finance sweatshops. With fully half the world’s population living on less than $2 a day, these practices have radically increased the exploitation of workers across the globe.  In 2000, Congress enacted the Dog and Cat Protection Act that outlawed the exploitation of animals.  Workers deserve no less, which is why we’re supporting HR 1992 and S 367 – The Decent Working Conditions and Fair Competition Act.  It mirrors the Dog and Cat Protection Act of 2000.  Do you support this legislation?  If so, are you a co-sponsor?  If not, will you become one?