WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor today in support of the National Manufacturing Strategy Act (HR 4692), which is part of Democrats’ new “Make it in America” agenda. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Americans have always looked to our manufacturing sector as a source of economic vitality—and as a source of pride. America has long prided itself on being a country that makes things, and Democrats are committed to making sure that is true in the future.
“Americans agree on the importance of manufacturing to our economy: 57% of Americans believe that it is one of the most important factors in our economic strength and 85% of Americans believe that creating manufacturing jobs is important to our economic recovery.
“It’s true that manufacturing has taken a severe hit in this recession. In fact, it’s been taking hits for quite some time, particularly under the Bush Administration: over the past decade, America lost one-third of its manufacturing jobs. If we want American manufacturing to be strong again—if we want to emerge from these hard times with a more competitive, job-creating economy—we need to get serious about our manufacturing strategy.
“That is the impulse behind the Democrats’ Make it in America agenda: creating incentives for investment in industry, strengthening manufacturing infrastructure and innovation, strengthening our workforce, and helping to level the playing field for American companies.
“So far, the Make it in America agenda has resulted in the passage of the U.S. Manufacturing Enhancement Act, which helps American companies get the affordable materials they need; it has passed the Senate and is on the way to becoming law. The House has also passed the SECTORS Act, which invests in 21st-century workforce training to make sure that our people have the skills to make it in America. Bills like those build on the success we’ve already had in rallying America’s manufacturing sector under the Obama Administration: since the beginning of this year, our private sector has actually created 136,000 new manufacturing jobs.
“This bill, the National Manufacturing Strategy Act, can contribute to that job creation. It directs the president to develop a national manufacturing strategy every four years, with the input of private-sector manufacturing leaders, federal officials, and state governors. They will analyze all of the factors affecting American manufacturing, from financing to trade barriers, and recommend actions the industry and federal, state, and local governments can take to boost manufacturing and create good-paying jobs. This bill’s sponsor, Congressman Lipinski, points out that similar national strategies are widespread: China, India, the U.K., Brazil, Canada, and Germany all have manufacturing strategies, and we need one if we want to stay competitive with them. And, as has been true in the past, the ‘Made in America’ label will be sought and admired throughout the world.
“This bill is an important way to take our industry’s struggles seriously and begin responding to them constructively. I urge my colleagues to pass it, as well as two other important parts of the Make it in America Agenda that the House will consider this week: the Clean Energy Technology Manufacturing and Export Assistance Act, which will ensure that clean energy technology firms have the information and assistance they need to stay competitive, and the End the Trade Deficit Act, which will develop strategies to combat the trade deficit.
“Through steps like these, we can begin to restore America’s pride in its manufacturing, and in the solid jobs it creates for middle-class families. Make it in America is not simply a slogan. it is a commitment to reestablish a dynamic engine for job creation. Make it in America is a commitment to ensuring that America’s future is one in which America competes successfully and profitably in the new global marketplace. Make it in America is a psychology of excellence, a level playing field in trade relations, and the creation of an environment that facilitates manufacturing projects, expansion, and the sale of American products to the world.
“America’s innovative abilities and the talent and work ethic of our workers have historically led our country to extraordinary economic growth and success. The Make it in America agenda is a commitment to making that success not only a proud part of our history, but the reality of our future.”