Immediately after President Obama's speech on deficit reduction, Brian Deese of the National Economic Council held an online chat to answer questions and comments about the economy. One of the questions concerned the promotion of U.S. manufacturing. Here is what he had to say:
"One of the interesting things about the nascent recovery that we've seen over the past year, year and a half, is that the manufacturing sector has really helped drive that recovery. The auto industry, after going through a terrible period during the recession, has come back quite strong and that is true for a lot of domestic manufacturing. What we are seeing is proving a lot of the critics wrong, that America still is a place where we can make things and where we can generate economic prosperity by actually manufacturing things in the United States.
"Continuing that progress moving forward is going to take the right policies as well. We have fallen backwards in previous periods when we have let our eye off the ball. The president recently name Ron Bloom... to be his special assistant for manufacturing policy. It is the first time in a while that inside the White House a very senior person whose job it is to think about manufacturing policy, think about the industry and look across the entire government and help coordinate our efforts on behalf of manufacturing industries.
"It is an important driver of the economic recovey right now and more broadly it is an important metric of whether we are succeeding economically, so we are going to spend a lot of time focusing on it."