Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) called on his colleagues in the U.S. House to immediately pass legislation to provide a manufacturing tax credit to help the country’s struggling economy and avoid pending European trade sanctions on American goods and services.   

“Congress has been idle on this issue for too long,” Smith said.  “If we don’t act soon, European trade sanctions will hurt American workers and American businesses.  We need to address this problem now, and I believe a manufacturing tax credit is the right solution.  It will keep the United States in compliance with WTO regulations and help spur our struggling manufacturing industries and most importantly, its workers. In the last 3 years alone, Washington state has lost over 66,000 manufacturing jobs.”

The World Trade Organization (WTO) authorized the European Union to implement hundreds of millions of dollars in retaliatory trade sanctions unless the United States repeals a current tax advantage for exporters that amounts to an illegal subsidy, according to the WTO.  The sanctions are scheduled to go into effect Monday, March 1st, unless Congress takes action now.

“If the Europeans implement these tariffs on American goods and services, it will be yet another blow to our already struggling economy,” Smith said.  “It’s irresponsible for the Congressional leadership to ignore the problem and refuse to act.”

Smith supports bipartisan legislation to repeal the tax measure in question and replace it with a manufacturing tax credit.  H.R. 1769, sponsored by Democrat Charlie Rangel and Republican Phil Crane, would lower taxes for manufacturers who employ people in the United States.  It is co-sponsored by 154 Members of Congress.

Since the Republican leadership has not yet put H.R. 1769 on the agenda, Smith today took the first steps necessary to force action.  He joined colleagues in signing a discharge petition, which will force a floor vote on the legislation when 218 Members