January 17, 2014: Obama pushes forward on #mfg institutes. So let's keep pushing!

Posted by mmcmullan on 01/17/2014


Happy Friday! American manufacturing has had a busy week. So lets not waste time, we’ve got places to go …

President Obama is making good on his groundwork plans for a network of manufacturing institutes. Following on the heels of a pilot program focusing on 3-D printing in Youngstown, Ohio, a public-private consortium to develop semiconductor technology has been awarded to Raleigh, North Carolina. The president announced the institute on Wednesday at North Carolina State University.

Mark Landler for the New York Times explained further:

This is the first of three such institutes the White House plans to announce in the coming weeks. It will be financed by a five-year, $70 million grant from the Department of Energy, which will be matched by funding from the consortium members, including the equipment maker John Deere and Delphi, an auto-parts maker.

AAM is psyched to see this come to fruition -- but as a manufacturing strategy, it’s not enough. We think there’s plenty more the administration could do to get the sector moving at a better clip. We need an industrial policy. Check out our plan here.

It’s been a dozen years since China entered the World Trade Organization. How has the American economy fared?

Depends on who you ask. America certainly lost a significant chunk of its manufacturing base to that country in roughly the same time. This Wednesday, a joint congressional/administration commission examined China’s record of adherence to its WTO obligations, and found it a little bit quite lacking. Admittedly, this isn’t the kind of hearing that sets reporter hearts a-flutter … but we kept an eye on it via Twitter, wrote up a what-you-need-to-know preview, and you can read a little more about it here.

ICYMI this week:

  • Keeping China at arm’s length while focusing on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) may actually benefit the world’s second largest economy instead of hurting it, suggests TIME’s Jay Newton-Small. China, you’ll recall, isn’t involved in the TPP negotiations.
  • House Democrats aren’t on board with the White House trade agenda, reports Politico’s Eric Bradner. Why? They want to see strong provisions inserted into the TPP that would safeguard American jobs, specifically one on currency manipulation.
  • Manufacturing job growth is not on pace to meet the president's campaign promise of 1 million new manufacturing jobs by the end of his second term, writes Joseph Pete of the Northwest Indiana Times. In an area as reliant on industry as northwest Indiana, that’s a big deal.

And behold, a few solid reads for your weekend.

And that's a wrap. Have a nice weekend, everyone. We’ll be out of the office on Monday, observing MLK Day. Take a moment, if you’ve got one today, to appreciate his most iconic speech. Decades later, it remains stirring stuff.

We’ll catch you bright and early Tuesday.


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