Liz Watson Statement on Steel and Aluminum Tariffs

Free and fair trade is essential to our economy here in Indiana. When American workers compete on a level international playing field, no one can beat them.  But for too long, we have failed to adequately enforce our existing trade laws, and to negotiate trade deals that reflect the interests of domestic labor force, not just multinational corporations and the top one percent.  Targeted tariffs can be part of the solution.  

I support our government’s targeted action in response to unfair competition in the steel and aluminum markets.  This action follows the Commerce Department’s “232” investigation into the impact of steel imports on national security, which found that China has been driving down the price of steel through deliberate dumping. This action has bipartisan support in Congress.  And it is critical to Indiana, which leads the nation in steel production.

Let’s be clear about what’s happening here. These aren’t “free markets.”  They are broken markets.  The Chinese government owns the country’s biggest steel companies.  It is not reacting to market forces.  It is dumping steel at prices below its costs to destroy competition, and ultimately to dominate the world market. Action to combat predatory and unfair trade practices in the steel and aluminum industry is long overdue. Steel imports rose nearly 22 percent in 2017, even though there is an excess of steel production. Dozens of U.S. steel and aluminum factories have closed in the last few years because they cannot compete with China’s below-cost pricing, even though worldwide demand has been rising.

When other countries cheat, there must be consequences.  And integrated action is essential, because even as we act against one country, other countries, including Iran, Ukraine and Russia, will step in with more dumping.

Domestic steel is essential to our national security.  Currently, we only have one American steelmaker capable of producing the steel we need for submarines, and only one company that can make the steel we need for our electrical grid.  We only have one smelter that can make the kind of aluminum we need to build fighter jets, including the F-35.  We cannot rely on China or any other foreign country for these crucial needs.

These tariffs must be temporary and targeted toward countries that have engaged in predatory practices, including China and Russia, who have been flooding the market, and proportional to their action in specific markets.  We must be careful not to penalize Canada, with whom we have integrated manufacturing markets, and who is also an importer of about half of U.S. steel exports. 

We can have free and fair trade and good wages and working conditions for American workers.  It is not an either/or proposition.  Germany has excellent worker conditions, the right to organize, health care and wages, and consistently runs a trade surplus, because it supports its manufacturing sector.  Giving our workers their fair share is possible if our leadership stands behind workers and fights back against unfair trade practices and for fair trade agreements.

Liz Watson, Candidate for Congress, Holds Town Hall on Tax Law. Representative Hollingsworth Doesn't Show Up.

Seymour, IN -- On Thursday evening, a packed house of over 60 people showed up in downtown Seymour to a town hall hosted by Liz Watson, a Democrat running in Indiana’s 9th district, to learn about the tax law passed by the Majority in Congress in December. Representative Trey Hollingsworth was also invited, but he failed to show up.

Watson said, “Hollingsworth hasn’t held a single town hall. Well, I’m sick and tired of it. And so are voters in the ninth district. Being a representative is about representing the people in your district. Who does Hollingsworth represent? Clearly, it’s not us.”

Voters expressed frustration with Hollingsworth’s refusal to meet with them before voting for the new tax law, which is a windfall for corporations and the wealthiest Americans and does very little for ordinary Hoosiers. The law will leave 13 million Americans uninsured and add $1.5 trillion to the debt. In about a decade, more than half of Americans will see their taxes go up, while the corporate tax cut will be permanent. Republican congressional leaders have already announced their intent to finance the law through cuts to Medicare and Social Security.

Watson continued, “Hollingsworth won’t meet with you to discuss how this law is going to affect you and your family, but I will. And I’m going to keep showing up because we all know that democracy only works when we show up and insist on having a say in the decisions that affect our lives.”

Watson concluded, “This race is about the kind of future we want for our children and grandchildren. I will never stop fighting for Hoosier families—mine and yours. Change isn’t going to come from Washington elites. Right here--this is how change happens--from the ground up. Thank you for showing up and making your voices heard!”

Please be on the lookout for details about the Liz for Indiana campaign’s next town hall with voters on the most pressing challenges in our district. Representative Hollingsworth will be invited to that one too. Details to be released next week.

Contact Brian Peters at or (724) 858-5120.

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee Announces 2018 House Endorsement for Liz Watson in Indiana’s 9th, Signaling that Progressives Can Compete Everywhere

Stephanie Taylor, PCCC co-founder: “There are no unwinnable districts. Progressives are going to compete everywhere, and they’re going to win.”

Bold Progressives Back Watson to Help Win Back Democratic House Majority in 2018

INDIANA-- Today, the million member Progressive Change Campaign Committee endorsed Liz Watson for the U.S. House seat in Indiana’s 9th district. Coming on the heels of Doug Jones’ incredible victory in Alabama, these endorsements in key districts and states that went for Trump in 2016, signal progressives’ plans to compete everywhere in 2018 and retake the House majority.

Watson is taking on Republican Rep. Trey Hollingsworth. She is taking a no-nonsense approach to her campaign, talking to voters about the kitchen table issues that matter most to them, like good manufacturing jobs. As a former labor policy director in Congress, she wrote the Schedules That Work Act, the first-of-its-kind legislation to give employees more certainty around their work schedules, making it easier for them to arrange child care or hold a second job.

"I am honored to partner with PCCC to fight for ordinary Hoosiers,” said Liz Watson (IN-09). “I have dedicated my entire life to fighting for working families, and to un-rig the rules of the economy so that it works for the people who actually do the work. From writing the $15 federal minimum wage bill as Labor Policy Director for the House Democrats in Congress, to drafting legislation to ensure that working people have the freedom to come together to bargain for their fair share, I will always stand with working families.”

Since 2009, the PCCC has raised over $25 million in online grassroots donations for progressive candidates and committees -- including over $1.17 million from over 70,000 small-dollar donations for Elizabeth Warren’s 2012 Senate run.

"The Democratic Party is at a fork in the road. Some say the path to the House majority runs through Blue Dog Democrats who run like Republicans," said Adam Green, PCCC co-founder. "We believe Democrats will win back control of the House and state governments in 2018 if they field nominees who connect with voters with a bold, progressive, populist message on issues like Medicare for All and high wages."

The PCCC also endorsed Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Mike Levin (CA-49), Greg Edwards (PA-15), and Jocelyn Benson (Michigan Secretary of State) on Thursday as part of their plan to fuel a new wave of progressive champions to win back Congress and Democratic control at the state level.

“There are no unwinnable districts. Progressives are going to compete everywhere, and they’re going to win,” said Stephanie Taylor, PCCC co-founder. “As we saw in Alabama, the Republican Party’s attacks on working families have opened up opportunities for Democrats to win in places they haven’t won in decades. We’re endorsing Liz Watson, Mike Levin, Veronica Escobar, Greg Edwards, and Jocelyn Benson because they’re authentic, inspiring progressives who aren’t afraid to take on Republicans with a bold economic populist message.”

Facts about the PCCC:

  • The PCCC endorses a select number of candidates each cycle. For top endorsed campaigns, the PCCC provides in-depth strategic support and resources -- including mobilizing a million PCCC members to donate and volunteer.

  • Since its founding in 2009, the PCCC has raised over $25 million for progressive candidates and committees -- including over $1.17 million from over 70,000 small-dollar donations for Elizabeth Warren’s 2012 Senate run.

  • The PCCC has over 1 million members nationwide, including over 130,000 in California, over 25,000 in Michigan, over 39,000 in Texas, over 32,000 in Pennsylvania, and 12,000 in Indiana.

More on the candidates:

Liz Watson (IN-09): Liz is running for Congress in Indiana against Republican Trey Hollingsworth. She is taking a no-nonsense approach to her campaign, talking to voters about the kitchen table issues that matter most to them, like good manufacturing jobs. She is the former labor policy director in Congress and director of workplace justice for the National Women's Law Center.  Liz wrote the Schedules That Work Act, the first-of-its-kind legislation to give employees more certainty around their work schedules, making it easier for them to arrange child care or hold a second job.  If Liz wins, she will become a model for how populists can win red districts. She reminds us a lot of another “Liz” — Elizabeth Warren.

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Hollingsworth Cancels So-called “Town Hall” at Last Minute, Liz Watson Shows Up

Scottsburg, IN -- Liz Watson, who is running for Congress in the 9th District, showed up in Scottsburg at 7 a.m. on Monday morning for a so-called “Town Hall” meeting called by Representative Trey Hollingsworth. Liz was there with Hoosiers from across the ninth district to deliver a petition with signatures from every county in the district opposing the Tax Scam bill supported by Rep. Hollingsworth.

Hollingsworth never showed up.

After announcing a closed door session hosted by the Scott County Chamber of Commerce that was misleadingly billed a “Town Hall,” then changing the time of the event from 8 a.m. to 7:15 a.m., Hollingsworth cancelled at the last minute.

“I’m a big believer in always showing up,” said Watson, after holding a rally at 7 a.m. in Scottsburg.

“Representative Hollingsworth won’t meet with voters to account for his vote for the terrible tax scam. When you support legislation that leaves nearly 30,000 Hoosiers uninsured, make it even harder for our students to afford an education, and drives a $1.5 trillion dollar hole in the deficit--you have some explaining to do.

Hardworking Hoosier families can’t afford to have even more money taken out of their paychecks and given away to the 1 percent and giant corporations. And the GOP has made clear that next they’re coming for our Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. This is unacceptable.”

Hoosiers from across the 9th district—including teachers, students, retirees, construction workers, health care providers, and union members--woke up early to voice their opposition to this terrible tax bill.

Liz announced that she will be delivering the petitions to Representative Hollingsworth’s office and her campaign will be holding a Town Hall on the tax reform bill on January 11 at 6 p.m. Location to be announced. “Hollingsworth won’t meet with Hoosiers, but I will,” she said.

Liz Watson's Statement on the House Passing the Tax Bill Today

Bloomington, IN -- Moments ago, the United States House of Representatives passed a sweeping alteration to the U.S. tax code. What they called reform is actually a scam. It's an outrage that our Representative Trey Hollingsworth voted for this, and it is even more of an outrage that he refuses to meet with his constituents to explain himself. 

The bill that multi-millionaire Hollingsworth supports will benefit only the very rich. Over 80 percent of the tax cuts will benefit the top 1 percent. By 2027, it will raise taxes on 53 percent of Americans. 

At the same time, it starves our country and our state of resources we need to rebuild our roads, bridges, and highways, invest in child care assistance and education, and make healthcare affordable and available to every American. 

This so-called tax "reform" is in fact a gigantic tax cut designed mainly to benefit corporations and the super-rich. For most os us, the bill promises minuscule tax reductions that are set to expire in 2027. After that, most of our taxes will go up, even though the cuts in the corporate and estate taxes will be permanent. 

The bill will cost the U.S. Treasury $1.5 trillion dollars. So how do Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and Trey Hollingsworth propose to cover the shortfall? Republicans have already announced plans to attack Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security next. 

What's more, at a time when more Americans need access to affordable health care, the tax bill, by ending the health care individual mandate, will leave nearly 30,000 people in the 9th district, and 13 million Americans overall, without health insurance coverage. 

This is not fairness. It rips off hardworking Americans to make the rich even richer! This is all to satisfy the GOP's wealthy corporate donors. 

This past Monday morning, December 18th, I showed up in Scottsburg at an event that Rep. Hollingsworth had scheduled for 7:15 a.m. Citizens from across the 9th district joined me there, bright and early, to deliver a petition--signed by more than 500 constituents in just two days--calling on Rep. Hollingsworth to vote against the tax bill. Our group included a construction worker, teachers, health care workers, a barbershop owner, a cancer survivor, a mom trying to put two kids through college, retirees and students, all united for one purpose: to tell their Congressman that they oppose the tax scam and want a fair deal for working families. 

Hollingsworth canceled the event. Nonetheless, we stood together outside in the col and dark to share our concerns. We did that because we take democracy, and the importance of having a representative who listens to our concerns, seriously. I announced that I will hold a town hall on tax reform on January 11. Everyone is welcome. This tax law is an affront to democracy. Every Hoosier should be outraged. I know that I am. We deserve better. And that is why I am running for Congress. 


Letter: Meet 9th District Candidate at Brown County Library

by Brown County Democrat

Liz Watson, candidate for the 9th District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, will speak and answer questions on Saturday, Oct. 21, at 9:30 a.m. at the Brown County Public Library.

9th Congressional Race Drawing Big Dollars

By News and Tribune

Two Democrats out-raise Rep. Hollingsworth
Ninth Congressional District Democratic challengers Liz Watson and Dan Canon out-raised incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Trey Hollingsworth in the third quarter of 2017, the first leg of their campaigns.

2 Democrats Top Fundraising for Indiana's House Challengers

By The Associated Press, The

Liz Watson of Bloomington showed she's one of the most successful fundraisers among potential challengers for Indiana's U.S. House seats in the 2018 elections.

Two Democrats Top Fundraising for Indiana's House Challengers

By The Associated Press

Two Democrats seeking to challenge first-term Republican U.S. Rep. Trey Hollingsworth for his southern Indiana seat have each raised more than $200,000 in the first three months of their candidacies.

2 Democrats Top Fundraising for Indiana’s House Challengers

by The Republic

Liz Watson of Bloomington is one of the most successful fundraisers among potential challengers for Indiana’s U.S. House seats in the 2018 elections.

Some Democratic Congressional Challengers Showing Early Financial Momentum

By IndyStar / USA TODAY

Some Democratic congressional challengers in Indiana are nipping at the financial heels of GOP House members, according to disclosure reports filed Sunday.

Liz Watson, Candidate for Congress in IN-09, Announces Key Endorsements From Local Women Leaders

A number of local women leaders, including current and former elected officials, have endorsed Liz Watson, candidate for U.S. Congress in Indiana's 9th Congressional District.