fresh voices from the front lines of change







This week the Obama administration came out with a new policy paper, “Framework for Revitalizing American Manufacturing” to coincide with a White House meeting with manufacturers. At the meeting, Vice President Biden

… announced administration support for a $5 billion expansion of a tax-credit program to encourage manufacture of wind, solar and other energy technology.

. . . The session, part of Biden’s task force on the U.S. middle class, is another in a series of administration events intended to focus on efforts to drive down the unemployment rate, which was at 10 percent last month. President Barack Obama has announced plans to seek more spending for repairing and modernizing the nation’s infrastructure, expanded credit availability for small businesses, and tax credits to encourage greater energy efficiency for homes and businesses.

. . . At the meeting, CEOs including David Cote of Honeywell; Robert McDonald of Procter & Gamble Co., Keith Wandell, chairman of Harley-Davidson Inc. and Robert Keegan of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., said the administration should do more to open foreign markets to U.S. products and lower corporate taxes.

Labor leaders Ed Hill, the president of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Bruce Raynor, the president of Workers United, and Elizabeth Shuler, Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO, also attended the meeting.

According to the Detroit Free Press,

The administration’s plan suggests a variety of moves to boost manufacturing, from better training for factory workers to opening overseas markets and defending patents and copyrights. It also calls for government aid to areas where manufacturing has retreated, leaving no replacement for crippled local economies.

While job losses in manufacturing have slowed over the past few months, factories have steadily shed jobs in the past decade, thanks to a combination of off-shoring and rising productivity. …

Manufacturers themselves have been divided in the past over ways the government could boost their output, with smaller firms calling for more aggressive action against China. By artificially holding down the value of its currency by up to 40%, China provides a subsidy to its exporters, one that’s increasingly under criticism from other nations.

I recommend reading or at least skimming the policy document.

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