Ron Bloom has a single job really, so he says. The senior counselor for manufacturing policy recently told a group of manufacturers, policy makers and other thought leaders that his only role in the Obama administration is to ask the question, or force the question: Is this good for manufacturing?
Bloom made the statement in August at the Ohio Manufacturing Roundtable, an event developed to promote discussion and action around strengthening manufacturing in the state. He spoke some and listened at length during the half-day event, and his comments included:
Also from the audience Bloom heard calls for making permanent the R&D tax credit and addressing China's currency valuation, as well as plenty of additional suggestions for improving the White House's manufacturing framework. The lack of access to capital, in particular, raised numerous voices. One manufacturer pointed out that he needs working capital to fill raw material requirements for improving business. Yet obtaining that capital is difficult. "There's a tremendous sense of urgency," he said. Another manufacturing executive said additional options other than commercial banks are needed to address capital access. Banks are risk averse, and "factoring is too expensive," he said.