- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Baucus suggests green tariffs

The United States must include a tariff or some other “border measure” to protect U.S. manufacturers from unfair foreign competition as part of legislation to address climate change, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus said Tuesday.

“We cannot allow our manufacturing industries to fade as result of trade with countries that refuse to negotiate global solutions to global concerns,” the Montana Democrat said.

“We must push our trading partners to do their part to curb harmful emissions and we must devise a border measure, consistent with our international obligations, to prevent the carbon leakage that would occur if U.S. manufacturing shifts to countries without effective climate-change programs,” he said.

Border measures generally refer to a tax or tariff on imports, although they could take other forms.

Mr. Baucus, who is expected to play a key role in shaping final U.S. climate legislation, was not specific about what type of border measure he meant.


Women to become unionized majority

Women are on track to become a majority of unionized workers in the next 10 years, signaling their growing clout in the labor movement.

The shift, outlined in a report Tuesday from the Center for Economic and Policy Research, could see organized labor focus more intensely on issues important to women as unions look to broaden their ranks and wield greater political strength in the next election cycle.

“When you have a majority of women in the labor movement, issues like work-family balance, paid sick days and paid parental leave become more important,” said John Schmitt, an economist at the left-leaning think tank and one of the authors of the report.

The study tracks the growing diversity of the labor movement over the past quarter century, including a surge in Hispanic union members and the steep decline of unionized workers from the manufacturing sector.

Women now make up about 45 percent of union members, up from just 35 percent in 1983. That number is expected to move past 50 percent by 2020. White men now make up 38 percent of the union work force, down from 51.7 percent in 1983.


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