Dave Johnson: Manufacturing Policy Hearing: Republicans, Corps Say Taxes, Regulations, Government, Democracy Bad
Today Dave Johnson of Campaign for America’s Future published an insightful post about yesterday’s Joint Economic Committee hearing on the need for a national manufacturing strategy, which featured testimony from Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) Executive Director Scott Paul:
I watched a Congressional hearing yesterday (webcast), examining why we need a national industrial strategy. There were a few pro-manufacturing voices. But in a surprise move, Republicans and representatives of Wall Street & giant multinationals opposed such a policy and repeatedly called for more tax cuts for the rich and corporations, more "free" trade agreements, getting rid of regulations and stopping government from holding corporations accountable to our laws. And at the end of the hearing the top committee Republican said we should not blame China's trade-cheating for our trade deficits, we should instead blame our "home-grown" regulations, citizen access to courts, taxes, good wages, benefits, worker-safety protections, environmental protections, etc. [aka democracy] that China lacks.
Johnson also provides and excellent summary of Scott Paul’s testimony:
Scott Paul from the Alliance for American Manufacturing offered a pro-manufacturing perspective.
Robust strategy has been at the core of American policy from the country's beginnings. Today’s dearth of policy is the exception, not the rule. Hamilton’s manufacturing policy was in place until WWII.
Having a manufacturing strategy is not partisan, Reagan had one, the Plaza Accord. His administration made key investments, including semiconductors, and had "Buy America" requirements.
We saved the auto industry, which stabilized part of the support structure for domestic manufacturing.
There are many problems that can’t be solved on their own by companies, like R&D investment.
No single firm can coordinate national projects. We need a robust manufacturing strategy because fate of this sector is too important. The decline of manufacturing is not inevitable or desirable.
1) Address Chinese currency manipulation
2) Counter China’s other cheating – when we act and enforce we get results.
3) Retool our export initiative to focus on zero trade deficit.
4) Tax changes – but don’t offset corporate tax reduction with reductions in manufacturing – this is just a windfall for Wall Street
5) Winning a race to the bottom -- don’t engage in this.
6) Infrastructure bank
7) Skills and training infrastructure
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