LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Jobs are the top issue this week in the campaign ads of Kentucky's U.S. Senate race.
After Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes used an unemployed coal miner to speak for her in a television commercial released this week, a Louisville executive speaks for McConnell in his new ad.
Chip Edwards, CEO of Cardinal Aluminum in Louisville, says 400 Louisville jobs were in jeopardy because China was illegally subsidizing its aluminum exports.
"We turned to Senator Mitch McConnell," Edwards said in the thirty second commercial. "Mitch listened and then he engaged a clear and decisive process to hold the Chinese companies accountable and to level the playing field for our employees."
WHAS11's check of the legislative record confirms the accuracy of the ad's claim. McConnell did sponsor a bill in 2012 that allowed the United States to impose fees on imports from non-market economies, such as aluminum produced in China.
President Barack Obama praised the McConnell-sponsored bill in Rose Garden remarks, March 13, 2012.
"I just signed a bill to help American companies that are facing unfair foreign competition," Obama said. "These companies employ tens of thousands of Americans in nearly 40 states."
Yet, the Alison Lundergan Grimes campaign calls the ad "dishonest," arguing that the ad tries to give the impression that McConnell has stood up to China when he has done everything but.
In particular, the Grimes campaign says McConnell has failed to both crack down on China's currency manipulation and to take the trade deficit seriously.
"Under McConnell, Kentucky has lost tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs," the Grimes campaign deputy press secretary, Preston Maddock, said. "While he has spent years supporting tax breaks that encourage companies to ship good Kentucky jobs overseas."
The Grimes campaign is referring to a corporate tax deduction companies can use to write off some expenses of outsourcing jobs overseas.
Grimes is calling on McConnell to pass the Bring Jobs Home Act to reverse the tax deduction and give incentives to bring jobs back from overseas.
McConnell says the Democratic bill is an election year ploy.
On the Senate floor Thursday morning, McConnell turned the tables to coal, again offering the Saving Coal Jobs Amendment to the Democratic bill.
The amendment would prevent new carbon emissions rules from going into effect until the administration proves it would not raise energy prices or cause job losses.
"So the Majority Leader has a choice," McConnell said. "Is he in favor of shipping Kentucky jobs overseas, or will he help me protect the Middle Class by supporting this amendment?"