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Saving the Auto Parts Sector: Next Round of Action Needed - Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Saving the Auto Parts Sector:
Next Round of Action Needed

Recently, 188 Members of Congress stood up for us.  They sent a letter to the President that asked him to take action to defend our domestic auto parts sector from China’s predatory, protectionist and illegal policies.  This has widespread implications for Steelworkers.  Many of our jobs are connected in some way to the auto parts supply chain.  These are jobs that support our families, build the tax base in our communities and make our nation stronger.  These are jobs we have to save.  China’s government has our auto parts sector in their sights.

We need those elected officials who signed the letter to continue to speak out.  Those Senators and Representatives who did not sign the letter need to engage.  This next wave of action is designed to build more support among our legislators as well as increase public awareness of what’s at stake.

Action Instructions:

1 – Get letters to the editor published in your local and regional papers. Use the draft ideas as well as the “tips” on the following page to shape your letters.

2 – Please thank those who signed on to the letter or encourage those who didn’t sign to get involved through your letter to the editor.

3 – Review the policies for your local and regional papers to ensure your letter is the right length and submitted correctly. This is easily found on the editorial page in print copies of a newspaper or in the editorial section of a paper’s website. Make sure to get letters in big and small papers alike!

4 – Local Rapid Response Coordinators should make sure to report any published letters to their District Coordinator.  In District 10, report published letters to Congressional District Coordinators.

Draft Letter Ideas:
Address your letter to “Dear Editor:” Letters to the editor must be individualized! Please use your letters to either thank those who signed on to the letter or encourage those who didn’t sign to get involved. If you need to know who your Senators and Representatives are, visit and

Draft Letter Idea #1: Recent reports show that the U.S. auto parts industry is facing heavily subsidized competition from China.  In fact, the Chinese government is spending tens of billions of dollars to overtake America’s auto parts manufacturers, which is putting 1.6 million good-paying U.S. jobs at risk.  This issue is serious enough that 188 Senators and Representatives have sent a letter to President Obama urging him to act.  I want to thank [Sen/Rep Name] for signing this letter.  We must save this important sector of the U.S. economy.

Draft Letter Idea #2: Since China joined the World Trade Organization, U.S. employment in the auto parts sector has dropped by 45 percent, with approximately 400,000 workers losing their jobs.  It’s no coincidence that in a similar period, U.S. imports of Chinese auto parts have skyrocketed by almost 900 percent.  We need to fight to secure jobs and create jobs now more than ever, especially against China’s illegal and predatory trade tactics.  Recently, 188 Senators and Representatives sent a letter to President Obama urging him to act.  Unfortunately, [Sen/Rep Name] did not sign.  We need [him/her] to get involved and help us protect the 1.6 million good-paying U.S. jobs that are at risk.

Does your job have a connection to the auto parts supply chain?  Incorporate that into your letter.  Have you seen manufacturing jobs leave your community?  Make your appeal personal.  The more personalized your letter is, the better! 

Here’s a link to the letter:

The complete list of Senators and Representatives who signed the letter is here:

For more facts on what is happening to the auto parts sector, visit:

Letter Tips:
Letters to the editor usually comment on news items and editorials in the newspaper, but you can bring up any subject. Since editors will not publish anything that appears to be a form letter or anything that has already been published, letters must be individualized. Editors are more likely to print letters that are:

  • Signed with your name, address, and phone number.
  • Short and focused on one key point (make sure to refer to the specific paper’s policy on length; most are 250 words or less – closer to 150 words is ideal).
  • Timely and relate to an ongoing issue in the news or respond to a news article or editorial printed no more than a few days before if possible.
  • Emailed to them. Regular mail delays the process and requires precious reporter staff time to re-type.

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