So says, Leo Gerard, president of the United Steelworkers. Today is he speaking at the New Economy Conference in D.C.
He is calling for a "new American industrial revolutionspecifically, a 21st century burgeoning of green manufacturing in the United States."
Manufacturing windmills and solar cells is where it's at according to Gerard. Relying on Wall Street didn't work. " As the Wall Street debacle that pushed this country into the Great Recession last year showed, the United States cannot depend on trading in obscure financial products to support its economy. To survive, America must be able to manufacture products of intrinsic value that can be traded here and internationally."
And the numbers support his claims. In the past 10 years the U.S. has lost 40,000 manufacturing facilities. Since Dec. 2007 2 million jobs were lost, putting the manufacturing unemployment rate at 12.4%.
And the trade deficit sits at $7 trillion.
Gerard isn't too happy about where U.S. dollars are landing.
" This is fine with countries like China, Japan and Germany that base their economies on making goods for export. Their factories are humming; their citizens are working and saving. By contrast, U.S. factories are closing; our citizens are borrowing on credit cards and against the value of their homes to buy imported products. And the U.S. government is indebting itself to China to cover its trade shortfall. It's an unsustainable debt cycle. "
What does Gerard want? "The United States needs a coordinated industrial policy like every other major First-World Country to end that cycle and direct development. Focusing on green-energy development is the way to goto create jobs, clean the environment and reduce reliance on imported oil."