I will go anywhere in the world to open new markets for American products. And I will not stand by when our competitors donít play by the rules. Weíve brought trade cases against China at nearly twice the rate as the last administration ó and itís made a difference. Over a thousand Americans are working today because we stopped a surge in Chinese tires. But we need to do more. Itís not right when another country lets our movies, music and software be pirated. Itís not fair when foreign manufacturers have a leg up on ours only because theyíre heavily subsidized.
Tonight, Iím announcing the creation of a Trade Enforcement Unit that will be charged with investigating unfair trade practices in countries like China. There will be more inspections to prevent counterfeit or unsafe goods from crossing our borders. And this Congress should make sure that no foreign company has an advantage over American manufacturing when it comes to accessing finance or new markets like Russia. Our workers are the most productive on Earth, and if the playing field is level, I promise you – America will always win.
I also hear from many business leaders who want to hire in the United States but canít find workers with the right skills. Growing industries in science and technology have twice as many openings as we have workers who can do the job. Think about that ó openings at a time when millions of Americans are looking for work.
Thatís inexcusable. And we know how to fix it.
Jackie Bray is a single mom from North Carolina who was laid off from her job as a mechanic. Then Siemens opened a gas turbine factory in Charlotte and formed a partnership with Central Piedmont Community College. The company helped the college design courses in laser and robotics training. It paid Jackieís tuition, then hired her to help operate their plant.
I want every American looking for work to have the same opportunity as Jackie did. Join me in a national commitment to train 2 million Americans with skills that will lead directly to a job. My administration has already lined up more companies that want to help. Model partnerships between businesses like Siemens and community colleges in places like Charlotte, Orlando and Louisville are up and running. Now you need to give more community colleges the resources they need to become community career centers ó places that teach people skills that local businesses are looking for right now, from data management to high-tech manufacturing.
And I want to cut through the maze of confusing training programs, so that from now on, people like Jackie have one program, one website and one place to go for all the information and help they need. Itís time to turn our unemployment system into a re-employment system that puts people to work.
These reforms will help people get jobs that are open today. But to prepare for the jobs of tomorrow, our commitment to skills and education has to start earlier.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.