In preparation for President Obama’s State of the Union speech on Feb. 12 Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM), wants to make sure that the President keeps his promise to create 1 million new manufacturing jobs in his second term.
In a letter to the President he suggested some policy measures that would do the trick.
Here is a sampling of a few.
Enforcing Our Trade Agreements
- Keep our trade laws strong and strictly enforced. Refocus the trade agenda by giving American businesses new tools to counter currency manipulation, industrial subsidies, intellectual property theft, and barriers to market access by our trading partners.
- Ensure that the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership includes measures to prohibit trade-distorting currency manipulation and the market-distorting impacts of state-owned enterprises.
- Convene a multilateral meeting to address global imbalances and, in particular, China’s mercantilism. If China doesn't agree to participate, designate it a currency manipulator. China ships more than one-quarter of its exports to the U.S. and finances less than 10% of our public debt, so we have more leverage than some might suggest. As your Administration works to double American exports, ensure that trade deficit reduction receives a higher priority. Lowering the trade deficit and creating manufacturing jobs will have a positive impact on federal revenues and will reduce the federal budget deficit.
Keeping it American-made
- Apply "Buy America" provisions to all federal procurement and to federal-aid infrastructure projects that benefit from Americans’ hard-earned tax dollars. Doing so will ensure that tax dollars are reinvested within our economy and that American jobs are created.
- Direct the Department of Defense to leverage existing procurement to contractors that commit to increasing their domestic content of our military equipment, technology, and supplies. This should commence with a top-to-bottom assessment of our defense industrial base to identify potential vulnerabilities or gaps where production of critical items and materials are at risk of no longer being sourced domestically.
Promoting Domestic Manufacturing
- Reshape the tax code in a revenue-neutral way to provide incentives for job creation and inward investment. Research and development tax credits should help firms that not only innovate in America, but also make their products here. We should lower tax rates for manufacturing activity in America and expand up-front expensing for plant and equipment purchases.
- Devote additional educational investment to rebuilding our vocational and technical skills programs, which would address potential shortages of qualified workers needed in the manufacturing sector.
To read about the entire 13-point plan click here.
To read the full letter click here.