Katie Grant, 202-225-3130
Wanted to make sure you saw this op-ed by Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer in today's Politico on Democrats' Make It In America plan, which supports manufacturing to create jobs. To read the op-ed, click here or see below:
‘Make It In America’ Key to Americans Making It
By: Rep. Steny Hoyer
Democrats introduced a comprehensive jobs plan two years ago to get more Americans back to work by creating the right conditions for manufacturing businesses to invest, expand and hire. Our plan, called “Make It in America,” aims to revitalize our manufacturing sector in order to increase economic competitiveness and create jobs that won’t be shipped overseas.
Manufacturing has been a bright spot in our economic recovery, increasing jobs and helping other sectors expand. Manufacturing also taps into a fundamental American value: The production of goods has played a major role in our history, and Americans overwhelmingly believe that making things here ought to be part of our future.
Americans watched for years as manufacturing jobs were shipped abroad. Now, however, with the rising costs of production in other countries, some companies have begun bringing those jobs back home, again seeking the experience, talent and productivity of American workers. Businesses like Google, Ford and Caterpillar have all brought back jobs, recognizing the benefits to production and innovation.
President Barack Obama, in his State of the Union address in January, said: “We have a huge opportunity, at this moment, to bring manufacturing back. But we have to seize it. …It’s time to stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas and start rewarding companies that create jobs right here in America.”
He’s exactly right. Manufacturing has the potential to be a jobs-creating engine. But the feedback we’ve heard from manufacturers interested in moving their production here is that we’re simply not doing enough to prepare the workers they need — ones with specialized skills in technology and engineering. And our infrastructure network, critical to moving goods to market, is in serious disrepair.
That’s why Democrats developed the Make It in America plan: to take a comprehensive approach toward creating the environment that businesses need to succeed and add jobs. It includes preparing a skilled workforce, investing in infrastructure, making it easier for businesses to invest in research and reforming the corporate tax system to help companies bring jobs back home.
Ten Make It in America bills have already become law, including the America Invents Act, to reform our patent system, and a reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank. But the bulk of our plan has yet to see action in the Republican-controlled House.
The consequences of delay are already being felt. June was the first month since July 2009 in which our manufacturing sector contracted, according to the Institute of Supply Management. U.S. manufacturers revealed Monday that first-quarter growth in earnings were the slowest since 2009. These are warning signs that Congress must set aside political differences and take action — or risk serious setback to our jobs recovery.
There are additional steps that Congress ought to take immediately, as I suggested Monday at the Center for American Progress. These proposals, offered by a number of House Democrats, are now being added to our Make It in America plan. We are calling on the Republican leadership to work with us to act on them quickly.
These steps include ending deductions for moving expenses when companies relocate overseas and instead providing new tax credits for businesses bringing jobs here. Another is the elimination of duties on certain raw materials used by U.S. manufacturers, which will help lower their production costs. We also propose a reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act, which will connect more Americans with skills training and opportunities to pursue careers in manufacturing. We also want to provide a $1,000-per-student tax credit to manufacturers working with colleges and trade schools to create a path to skilled jobs.
Other bills on the list would fund President Barack Obama’s proposed National Network for Manufacturing Innovation; invest in upgrading our ports, rails and freight infrastructure; and help better enforce trade rules so we can compete on a level playing field. These are all items I believe can pass with bipartisan support and that the House leadership ought to put on the calendar right away.
Our overseas competitors are doubling down on investments in education, innovation and attracting new businesses. In America, the wealthiest country in the world, we will lose only if we fail to invest in the priorities of success.
It’s time we harnessed that great American problem-solving energy once more and put it to work creating jobs that won’t be shipped overseas. Manufacturing can be that solution, but to achieve it Congress will need to “Make It in America.”