By now most of us know the statistics. The US lost 5.5 million manufacturing jobs over the past 10 years.
In the past two and a half years half a million jobs were created, but that’s not enough.
Looking at 2013, one group, Industrial Info Resources, is predicting that 35 more plants are expected to close resulting in a job loss of 14,500.
The President knows the statistics and has pledged to create 1 million new manufacturing jobs by 2016.
That goal is a step in the right direction, says Scott Paul, president, Alliance for American Manufacturing but he points out in an article in USA on January 20 that the President must address the underlying causes for the drop in manufacturing employment.
Scott points out that “unwise trade policies helped put us in this economic hole in the first place.”
He cites a recent working paper from two economists – the Fed's Justin Pierce and Yale's Peter Schott – that found ”granting China a much-coveted normalized trade status in 2000 can be directly linked to massive domestic job loss in the manufacturing sector.”
Scott argues that this trade deal was too high a price to pay.
“What did we get in return for this deal?” Scott asks? “A trade deficit with that country that keeps shattering records ($295 billion in 2011, $290 billion through November 2012), fueled by a glut of artificially cheap imports that are swamping stateside competition. But it's hard for working families to benefit from the modestly lower prices on the shelves of retail chains when household incomes have been drastically reduced by the loss of a steady paycheck.”
To correct this Scott advocates the following.
“We should invest more education funding in vocational and technical skills programs; we should demand Buy American clauses in all procurement for federal infrastructure projects; we should reshape the tax code to provide incentives for inward investment and job creation; and we should demand action from the Administration and World Trade Organization when trade cheats like China illegally subsidize competitive industries and manipulate their currency to artificially cheapen their exports, just like they do now.”