December 18, 2013: Selling the trade agenda

Posted by mmcmullan on 12/18/2013

Good morning,

Yesterday, we gazed at a recent picture of President Obama meeting with his trade team. We surmised they were talking about how best to proceed with the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade negotiations. Were they talking about inserting language to discourage currency manipulation into the agreement? Almost certainly not. Maybe the U.S. trade representative wanted to show the president his notebook doodles, we wondered.

Well, today brings a story that sheds some light on that meeting (they probably weren't comparing doodles). It looks like the Obama administration is gearing up for a big ol’ public push of its trade agenda. Howard Schneider reports for the Washington Post:

Obama has focused much of his recent economic policy on boosting trade and global investment. He will now need to make the case that a broad new set of trade agreements will help U.S. workers and not merely shift jobs overseas or benefit a small clique of global corporations, as many trade skeptics argue has happened before.

It’ll be interesting to see how that case is made. Remember, the TPP that the White House is pursuing doesn’t include a currency rule. And, as respected economists have argued, a deal that doesn’t address this hidden tax on American exports might not be worth signing at all.

Elsewhere around the web:

Did you hear about yesterday’s trade ruling on steel imports? XRock 103.9, the classic rock of the Region WXRD, has got you covered:

Read more about why this ruling’s important to domestic steel manufacturers.

New Report: The Congressional Joint Economic Committee released a report on the state of American manufacturing, notes Dee Depass for the Star Tribune. More than half a million new jobs have returned to the manufacturing sector since 2010, but Congress still has work to do to ensure this trend continues.

The federal government is holding a competition to establish 12 manufacturing hubs across the U.S. Through the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership, these centers will receive economic development funding and technical assistance to help create manufacturing jobs in the regions.

Time grows short, America! So get off the couch and finish your holiday shopping! But when you hit the bricks, try to Buy American-made. AAM President Scott Paul and Alex Bogusky from the Made Movement make the case for American-made gifts:

From athletic footwear to flatscreen TVs, there are companies manufacturing in America today. And while you may expect to pay a premium for American-made quality, you'd be surprised at how easily those on tight budgets can find gifts at competitive prices.

Read the whole thing here.

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 hump day, America.

-AAM

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