U.S. Needs to Stop 'Sitting on its Hands' in Manufacturing Sector Says Sen. Feinstein

Senator proposes manufacturing loan program to create jobs.

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) wants to see loans flowing to the manufacturing sector. She wants the U.S. to show the same dedication that Germany and China have to a robust manufacturing base. Her plan, introduced on August 22, proposes that the Export-Import Bank directly lend as much as $20 billion to domestic manufacturers.

"The recent string of disappointing economic news underscores the need for us in Congress to continue to push for more robust job creation," Feinstein wrote to President Obama. "The longer we wait to counter the efforts being made by our strongest competitors, more and more of our manufacturing base will be siphoned away."

In a letter to the President, Feinstein pointed out that the Ex-Im Bank "has more than $20 billion in unused authority at this time which should be used for job creation in this country."

She also proposed the establishment of a one-stop shop to help manufacturing companies navigate the complex and lengthy permitting process required in the United States. In order to be eligible, applicants would have to:

  • Provide a business plan indicating the amount of domestic workforce expansion predicated on the Ex-Im loan, with the Ex-Im Bank giving more weight to applicants who will hire more employees on a loan dollar per job basis
  • Demonstrate they are in direct competition with foreign firms receiving subsidies in the form of grants, subsidized loans, special tax treatment, or beneficial land use, etc
  • Demonstrate that the project will contribute to the follow-on expansion of the domestic workforce, capital investment, research and development, domestic supply chain, or manufacturing capability
  • Have a net positive impact on the United States trade balance

"Manufacturing is a proven source of well-paying jobs for those of all educational levels and we must have a thriving manufacturing sector in order to address our chronic trade imbalance and return our economy to sustainable growth," Feinstein wrote.

To view a one page summary of the plan, "Make it in America" click here.

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