December 16, 2013: Obama's #mfg pledges and promises
It’s Monday morning, America. Up and at ’em! But before we get going, take a moment and pour a sip of coffee out for Peter O’Toole, who passed away this weekend at the age of 81. That man was a Hollywood great.
Now, back to manufacturing news. How’s progress on President Obama's pair of manufacturing-related campaign promises coming along? Len Boselovic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes that Obama’s pledge to double American exports isn’t going very smoothly:
... Exports only tell half of the story. Imports in the first 10 months of this year totaled $2.3 trillion, flat with the same period last year but 16.8 percent higher than they were for all of 2009.
Consequently, the U.S. trade deficit, which stood at $383.7 billion for all of 2009, has grown to $402.1 billion in the first 10 months of this year.
Yikes. And as for the other promise?
During his 2012 campaign, Mr. Obama said he wanted to create 1 million new manufacturing jobs during his second term. He's only got 937,000 more -- or 25,324 monthly for the rest of his term -- to go, according to (Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul). November, when 27,000 manufacturing jobs were added, was a good start.
Elsewhere around the web:
Congress is set to pass a budget deal this week, but several issues have been left on the chopping block, report Derek Wallbank and Kathleen Hunter for Bloomberg. A very important one left out: extending unemployment insurance for the long-term unemployed.
There is plenty of conservative opposition to the Obama administration’s trade agenda, notes William Mauldin for the Wall Street Journal, and that makes serious beef with the White House’s approach to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations a bipartisan stance. In fact, in order to placate some of the TPP’s legislative critics, congressional leaders have agreed to include currency manipulation language in a fast track authority bill that would make it easier for the White House to get Capitol Hill’s approval regarding trade deals. The details of the aforementioned currency language, however, have not yet been made public.
But is that the best course of action? Remember, majorities (majorities!) of the House and Senate want currency manipulation addressed not in a vague future, as this fast track language concession would have it, but in the trade deal America’s weighing right now: the TPP. We wonder how it’ll all shake out.
And speaking of currency manipulation:
Shinzo Abe became prime minister of Japan last year, promising to revitalize the economy. How's "Abenomics" doing? http://t.co/XdNf1nIF8a— Marketplace (@MarketplaceAPM) December 16, 2013
ICYMI: The Daily Kos has some tips for American-made holiday shopping. And author Laura Clawson draws a bit of AAM wisdom: "Don't drive yourself crazy. Trying to buy exclusively Made in America gifts is virtually impossible. Just think about doing a little better this year than you may have done in the past. Start with just one more gift."
Because seriously, it’s gift-giving season, America. And while you’re out there doing your holiday shopping, whether in-person or online, your pals at AAM hope you keep your purchases Made in the U.S.A.
Why? AAM President Scott Paul said it thusly:
We consume too much from overseas, and we don’t produce enough here to make up the difference. That burdens us with debt and leaves us with fewer jobs. There is a solution and it may sound quaint, but it’s never been truer than it is today: Buy American.
Easier said than done? Not if we help you out! We’ve posted a list of 51 American-made gifts suggestions, one from every state (and the District of Columbia). Throughout the month of December we’ll continue providing you with ideas, tips, and tricks. So check out our Holiday page often, as we’ll update it frequently.
Have an American-made gift that you’re giving, or coveting? We want to hear about it. Tweet it to @KeepItMadeinUSA or email us: info [at] aamfg [dot] org.
Happy Monday, America.
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