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Reps. Foley and Hagan Plan Balanced Trade Amendment

Joint Resolution would call for US Constitutional Convention on fair trade and labor practices
September 4, 2013
Democratic Newsroom

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State Reps. Mike Foley (D-Cleveland) and Robert F. Hagan (D-Youngstown) plan to it introduce a joint resolution that would call for a constitutional convention to discuss adding a balanced trade amendment to the United States Constitution. 

“With a global economy becoming more and more important, it’s crucial that we recognize the importance of labor and trade practices-- not just in the products we make --but also in those coming to the country,” Rep. Foley said. “It’s important to remember the significant role fair labor and trade practices plays in the strengthening of countries, especially as we celebrate our own working class on Labor Day.”

The lawmakers cited other statehouse conversations regarding amending the U.S. Constitution as the motivation to offer their own suggestion. This amendment would call for fair trade, labor, and environmental standards for imports. If adopted, it would create a tariff for any imported product that has not followed fair labor, environmental and trade practices.

“It is important that we recognize the substantial role of labor—both at home and abroad—in maintaining a vibrant and thriving economy,” said Rep. Hagan. “There is a better way to ensure that Americans have economic opportunity and a shot at a middle class lifestyle. This proposal would make certain that we aren’t undercutting our workforce at home by supporting deplorable conditions abroad. We cannot afford to ignore this issue any longer.”

The resolution is an official request for a constitutional convention as described in Article V of the U.S. Constitution. If two thirds of states request this, Congress shall hold a convention to discuss this amendment.