Sen. Chris Coons published an op-ed titled “Donald Trump does not understand manufacturing” in The Hill calling on Congress to protect and improve essential programs that support American manufacturers, which President Donald Trump and his administration have been working to undo.

“The U.S. is in a manufacturing recession,” wrote Coons. “President Trump made a campaign pledge to deliver support for American manufacturing workers and create new jobs, but he has done the opposite. A strategy for continuing American global leadership in manufacturing is right in front of him — if he cared to read it.”

“President Trump and his administration have been working over the past three years to undo essential federal programs that actually support manufacturers,” wrote Coons. “We shouldn’t be tearing down critical programs that work — we should be working to ensure more manufacturers are aware of these programs and can take full advantage of them. We should also improve upon current initiatives so we can make progress toward addressing the real challenges facing manufacturers today.”

“Manufacturers in America, particularly small manufacturers, are stretched,” wrote Coons. “These businesses must balance day-to-day operations and production deadlines along with overcoming the additional hurdles of rapidly changing technology, global competition and cybersecurity threats.”

“The prolonged tariffs and the trade war with China have delivered the weakest U.S. manufacturing activity in more than a decade,” wrote Coons. “Last month, thousands of jobs were lost, and the confidence of American executives sank to its lowest level since 2009. President Trump is forgetting to first, do no harm.”

Coons’ full column is available at bit.ly/2D7jzjX.