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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Dent: LV Cement Industry Losing Jobs, Thanks to Stimulus

Yesterday, I told you that LV Congressman Charlie Dent would be holding a news conference to complain about the use of $28 million in stimulus money to build a Staten Island cement import and distribution facility for Cementos Lima, a Peruvian cement manufacturer. This will have the effect of taking LV cement jobs away and sending them to South America.

I was unable to attend Dent's news conference, which was held at Keystone Cement in Bath, but do have an excerpt of his news release:

In his comments, Dent was also critical of the Obama Administration and Congressional supporters of the Stimulus Bill for failing to include adequate safeguards in the legislation to prevent the use of tax dollars on projects that ultimately jeopardize American jobs.

“The President and his Congressional allies placed expediency above responsibility when they hastily drafted the Stimulus Bill, which was sold to the American public as a job creator. A year after its enactment, the American people are discovering the so-called Stimulus not only failed to create sustainable jobs, but is supporting foreign manufacturers at the expense of a historic domestic industry,” Dent said.

In an August 2010 letter to United Steelworkers (USW) union President Leo Gerard protesting the government’s support for this project, a local USW representative explained, “Enactment of the ARRA [Stimulus Bill] was about creating jobs and rebuilding our deficient roads and bridges. To date, very little ARRA funds have been dedicated for these projects. In this case, an “import cement terminal” was supported by elected representatives without the wisdom of its long term impact on jobs and the use of American made products.”

Last month, Dent sent a letter to the President imploring him to address growing concerns that foreign companies are benefiting from the Stimulus. In the letter, Dent explained, “I believe it is imperative that the Administration use greater discretion and more thorough analysis when determining the recipients of ARRA support. I am certain you share my belief that ARRA should not benefit foreign companies at the expense of American workers and their families, and will work to remedy this alarming problem before more domestic jobs are lost.”


Dave said...

Got to give Chucky/his staff credit for hoisting this story high here in the Valley. This has legs and will resonate with the voters. Johnny Casino is falling behind and this may ruin his chances for good. Not a Dent guy but..

LVCI said...

Problem with "stimulus" is the money comes with strings. The government picks and chooses what should be built or not. The money would have been far better spent on seminars that anyone could attend. These seminars (classes) should have been setup to instruct (educate) folks on how to startup and run their own small business. And to offer financial resources. Instead the government builds some super dooper million dollar shrine and hopes there will be some sort of a use for them.

I'd rather see folks, since no one's hiring anyway, start their own enterprise of which there will be some actual future demand for long term. It's along the lines of "give them a fish for a day OR teach them to fish". I'd like to think people know better then the federal government's social engineers as to what will work locally to sustain demands for their business ideas. You can build multimillion train and bus stations, but that doesn't mean anyone will use them. I'd rather trust small entrepreneurs then some study that has a predisposed outcome depending on who paid for it

Short of it.. the "stimulus" is targeting already failed commercial ventures. Therefore is flawed.

Donald said...

I think Dent's vote for free trade is what is really behind the issue not the stimulous package - But Dent forgot to mention that

Anonymous said...

Help me understand. This facility was approved in Oct ’09, permitted in April ’10, Charlie writes a letter 2 weeks ago and protests earlier this week. Dent is on the Congressional Cement Caucus. How could he have not known about this 12 months ago. Wouldn’t it have been more productive to protest then, when something could have been done to stop it? But that would have stolen a perfectly good political opportunity to drop in the middle of a campaign. Our likeable little Charlie wouldn’t do that would he? Charlie, where were you, asleep at the wheel or was it your staff?

Charlie, in Washington it might matter what you talk about, in the Lehigh Valley it’s about what you get done. Hurry Charlie, there’s another parade starting you don’t want to miss!