Manufacturing Odds & Ends

Feingold supports overhaul of trade agreements
U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) is a lead supporter of a new effort to guide future U.S. trade agreements to ensure a level playing field for American businesses, workers and consumers. Feingold is an original cosponsor of the Trade Reform, Accountability, Development, and Employment (TRADE) Act of 2008 introduced by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). The TRADE Act requires a review of existing trade agreements, and a renegotiation of existing trade agreements based on that review. It sets terms of what must and must not be included in future trade agreements, and expresses support for strengthening the role of Congress in trade policymaking. The framework created by the TRADE Act includes improved labor, environmental, food and product safety standards complete with enforcement mechanisms and penalties for failing to meet those standards, Feingold said.

"The trade policies agreed to over the past fifteen years are a major contributor to the tough economic times many folks in Wisconsin are facing," Feingold said. "I have opposed agreements like NAFTA, CAFTA and others that create a race to the bottom by failing to require fair labor, environmental, safety and other standards of the countries we do business with. Tens of thousands of good jobs have left Wisconsin for China, Mexico and elsewhere and have been replaced with lower quality, lower paying jobs without the benefits Wisconsinites need for their families. It’s time that our trade agreements look out for American businesses, workers, consumers, family farmers and the environment rather than multi-national corporate interests.

"I support trade in the growing global marketplace and opening up new markets for American products," Feingold said. "But we can do it in a way that avoids the problems we have seen with NAFTA and other agreements that have taken their toll on American businesses and workers. This framework for a new direction of U.S. trade policies will strengthen economic security, maintain family-supporting jobs in the U.S., and encourage sustainable development in underdeveloped countries that are our trading partners."

Badger Meter CEO to ring bell at New York Stock Exchange
Badger Meter Inc. chairman, president and chief executive Rich Meeusen will ring the opening bell on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Tuesday, June 17, to celebrate the promotion of the Milwaukee company’s stock to "The Big Board." Badger Meter’s common stock will begin trading that morning on the NYSE after 37 years of being traded on the American Stock Exchange (Amex). The company’s ticker symbol will remain "BMI." Meeusen will be joined in the morning ceremony by other senior executives and members of Badger Meter’s board of directors. "We are honored to be eligible to join the many leading companies on the Big Board. Badger Meter has enjoyed a 37-year relationship with the American Stock Exchange that has served us well and has helped us to grow as a public company. However, with the increasing value of our shares, higher trading volume and improved financial performance, we believe our move to the NYSE is an appropriate next step that will give Badger Meter more visibility in the financial market and improve our stock’s liquidity," Meeusen said.

ASQ awarded by Wisconsin Forward
The American Society for Quality (ASQ), a global organization of quality experts headquartered in Milwaukee, was recently awarded 2008 Mastery Level recognition by Wisconsin Forward Award, Inc. (WFA). This is the second recognition at this level for ASQ, after achieving the Mastery Level in 2006. "We are proud to once again be recognized. This is another great achievement for ASQ," said Paul Borawski, ASQ executive director and chief strategic officer. "Receiving Mastery Level recognition by the Wisconsin Forward Award is the product of our 15-year journey to apply the concepts of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. I envision the day when everyone understands, embraces and takes part in the quality journey." Wisconsin Forward Award recipients will be presented with their award in a ceremony at the Monona Terrace in Madison, Wis., July 8, 2008.

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