Viewpoint: Obama Leverages Bully Pulpit to Support U.S. Manufacturing

'Insourcing American Jobs' focuses nation's attention on critical business trend.

I'm not going to get into the politics of President Obama's "Insourcing American Jobs" forum, where he heralded the recent trend of manufacturers bringing production back to the U.S. I'll also leave it to others to comment on whether the tax breaks and other incentives he promised are a wise idea.

I think we can all acknowledge that the President, with concerns about how the unemployment rate will impact his prospects for reelection, has political reasons for aligning himself with this trend -- and that any President in his position would do the same.

That said, having the President use the bully pulpit can have the effect of helping U.S. industry even as it may help improve his image. I'm o.k. with that.

With this single event, President Obama has called attention to the changing economic conditions that are making the U.S. a more competitive place to locate manufacturing businesses and has highlighted the examples of several companies who have already taken advantage of those conditions. Here's hoping that by doing so, he'll encourage business leaders throughout the country to take another look at locating new production facilities within the country

We at IW have been following all the reports that have tracked this trend over the past few months -- including those from Accenture, Booz & Company and Boston Consulting Group, which are noted in the Administration's report, Investing in America: Building an Economy that Lasts.

We also have collected a list of reports from other organizations -- including the Council on Competitiveness, the National Association of Manufacturers and the Alliance for American Manufacturing -- that proclaim the importance of U.S. manufacturing to the nation's economy. Together, these independent reports have accumulated reams of data supporting the notion that the U.S. is once again a great place to manufacture. None, sad to say, have captured the headlines as the President's effort has.

IW will be taking another look at these report over the next several weeks. We hope you'll do so as well.

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