WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) released the following statement today after Cooper Standard Automotive announced plans to close its hose manufacturing facility—which employs approximately 200 people—in Bowling Green. In a news release, the company stated that the Bowling Green work will be moved to existing plants in Kentucky and Mexico.
“I’m deeply disappointed by Cooper Standard’s decision to close the Bowling Green facility. The United Steelworkers and the Bowling Green community worked diligently to try to keep these jobs in Ohio,” Brown said. “The workers at Cooper Standard are talented, hard-working, and highly skilled men and women that have played no small part in the revitalization of the auto industry in Ohio and across America, and I pledge to do all that I can to help these workers and their families.”
“This news is also a timely reminder that Congress must act immediately to extend Trade Adjustment Assistance, which helps trade-affected workers get back on their feet and get the skills they need to land new, good-paying jobs. TAA is a lifeline for men and women whose jobs have been sent abroad to countries like Mexico—which is thanks, of course, in no small part to trade agreements like NAFTA. Congress cannot pass trade agreements that hurt the American worker and then turn their backs on the workers and communities those agreements affect. If Congress doesn’t act, TAA will expire next week—so we must pass an extension of TAA as soon as possible.”
Brown had urged Cooper Standard to work with the United Steelworkers, the State of Ohio, and the City of Bowling Green to keep the facility open. In early January, Cooper Standard announced its plans for a corporate review that could result in the closure of one of its manufacturing facilities. Last month, Brown called Cooper Standard Vice President Larry Johnson to encourage Cooper Standard to seek alternatives to closing the Bowling Green facility. He also sent a letter to Johnson advising him to work with the involved parties to keep Cooper Standard jobs in Ohio and stressing strength and productivity of the workforce at Bowling Green.
Brown has also been active on efforts to extend Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for trade-affected workers whose jobs have been moved overseas. TAA is a package of training and reemployment services designed to help workers, who have lost their jobs as a result of foreign trade, develop the skills they need to find new jobs. Yesterday, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) led a letter with 13 other senators to House of Representatives leadership urging an extension of TAA. Without Congressional intervention, TAA will expire next Saturday, February 12.